On Wednesday, the PGA Tour and LPGA Tour unveiled the Grant Thornton Invitational, a mixed-field event where PGA players will be paired with LPGA players and compete in an exciting new tournament.
The tournament is to kick off the week of December 4, 2023 and will be hosted at Tiburón Golf Club and The Ritz-Carlton Naples, in Naples, Florida. Fans can watch the event on the Golf Channel and NBC.
The mixed-tour event is the first of its kind since the JCPenney Classic, which ended in 1999 with John Daly and Laura Davies as its reigning champions.
The Grant Thornton Invitational will boast a 32-player field consisting of 16 PGA Tour players and 16 LPGA Tour players with a purse set at $4 million.
The new PGA and LPGA event is an exciting new opportunity for both Tours
The three-day tournament allows for the two tours’ members to compete for an equal prize, a unique opportunity amongst the large pay and sponsorship disparity between the two Tours.
So far, Rickie Fowler and Jessica Korda have been announced to play together, as have Tony Finau and Nelly Korda. The four golfers are all sponsored by Grant Thornton.
Nelly Korda spoke on her excitement to be part of the inaugural tournament.
“The Grant Thornton Invitational really is about being inclusive and showing people that golf can be accessible for everyone, no matter what way you play. This is going to be the perfect opportunity for me to do something important in helping to grow the game and inspire the next generation.”
The women’s world No. 2 ranked golfer said.
Rickie Fowler shared his participation and partnership with Jessica Korda on Twitter, where the tournament’s apparent slogan: “Two tours. One purse. Opportunity for all.” can be seen in the supplied graphic.
The event is a great opportunity to give visibility to top LPGA players and it is refreshing to see in a time that the PGA Tour is in need of strengthening its product, the LPGA Tour is also in mind as part of the way to growing the game of golf.
The Grant Thornton Invitational also provides another exciting team-based tournament, something that always rates high in the hearts of fans as they see their favorite players play together and interact.
As a sport that is played solo, the Tour will be smart to capitalize on these types of tournaments which bring players together and provide for storylines off the green.