Grant Thornton Invitational unveils three distinct formats for mixed-team play
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Sixteen two-person teams from PGA TOUR and LPGA Tour will compete for an equal purse of $4 million
Written by Staff @PGATOUR
NAPLES, Fla. – Officials announced Tuesday that the inaugural Grant Thornton Invitational golf tournament will feature three distinct formats when it takes place from Dec. 8-10, 2023, at Tiburon Golf Club in Naples, Florida.
This unique and exciting multi-format approach will include scramble, Foursome and modified Four-ball formats, each played in consecutive rounds of the three-day professional competition. As a result, the tournament’s 32-player field — which will be evenly composed of PGA TOUR and LPGA Tour professionals playing in 16 mixed teams — will compete for an equal purse of $4 million, while also experiencing a different format each day.
Friday, Dec. 8: Opening Round – Scramble format
In this round, each player hits a tee shot and then the team selects the ball to be used for the next stroke. From there, both players hit their next shots from that spot. This process continues until the ball is holed. According to world No. 3 and Grant Thornton ambassador Nelly Korda: “Scramble on Friday is going to be full of scoring opportunities and I can’t wait to strategize with Tony (Finau) on every shot.”
Saturday, Dec. 9: Second Round – Foursome (Alternate Shot) format
This is the most traditional of the three days, adhering to a format that is consistently featured in both the Ryder Cup and Solheim Cup. Each team’s players alternate hitting shots with the same ball until the ball is holed. One player will tee off on the odd-numbered holes, and the other tees off on the even-numbered holes. As world No. 21 and Grant Thornton ambassador Tony Finau put it: “Alternate Shot is a grind and probably the most challenging team format in golf. Nelly and I are going to need to bring our best on Saturday.”
Sunday, Dec. 10: Final Round – Modified Four-ball format
This final round will feature a format new to team play and a twist on traditional Four-ball. In the modified format, both players tee off, and then they switch balls for their second shots and play that same ball until it is holed. The lower score of the partners is then counted as the team score for the hole. Six-time PGA TOUR winner and Grant Thornton ambassador Rickie Fowler sees the format as both challenging and unique: “Playing our partner’s tee shots is going to be the ultimate test of teamwork and I’m really excited to play this format, not having seen it before on TOUR.”
“An incredible amount of thought and collaboration with players, broadcast partners and representatives from both tours went into developing these three unique formats,” said Rob Hartman, Grant Thornton Invitational Tournament Director. “We feel confident our approach will ensure a playing experience that is both highly competitive and equal for all players, while also maximizing interaction within the teams and the two tours. The result will be an entertaining product for our tournament fans, international television audience and corporate partners.”
When and how to enjoy the tournament
The Grant Thornton Invitational takes place from Friday, Dec. 8, through Sunday, Dec. 10, at Tiburon Golf Club at The Ritz-Carlton Naples, Florida.
The Golf Channel will broadcast Friday’s first round competition live from 1-4 p.m. ET. Saturday’s coverage will be from 2-3 p.m. ET on Golf Channel, then switch to NBC from 3-5 p.m. ET. The final round coverage will air Sunday on Golf Channel from 1-2 p.m. ET and then switch to NBC from 2-4 p.m. ET.
Following Saturday’s round, Live Fest will once again be held on the Tiburon Driving Range from 5-10 p.m. ET. This year’s lineup includes Dierks Bentley, Little Big Town and Gin Blossoms.
For Grant Thornton Invitational tickets and additional information, visit the official tournament website grantthorntoninvitational.com.