The PGA and LPGA Tours have unveiled a new co-sanctioned team event to take place in December to replace the QBE Shootout.
The QBE Shootout was originally the Shark Shootout, founded by LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman, so it’s no surprise to see the PGA Tour looking to replace it. Its new guise will be the 32-person Grant Thornton Invitational, which will feature 16 teams made up of PGA Tour and LPGA Tour players.
The purse for the mixed event will be $4m and it will take place over 54 holes at Tiburón Golf Club and The Ritz-Carlton Naples.
The last time the PGA and LPGA Tours combined for an annual mixed-team competition was in 1999, when John Daly and Laura Davies won the final edition of the JCPenney Classic.
It seems that both Tony Finau and Nelly Korda, who are Grant Thornton ambassadors, will be playing in the event with the other 30 players yet to be announced.
Other Grant Thornton ambassadors who will most likely play include Rickie Fowler, Jessica Korda, Mel Reid and Cameron Champ.
Korda and Lexi Thompson played in the most recent QBE Shootout, which was won by Tom Hoge and Sahith Theegala. The event had run since 1989. Norman was controversially not invited to QBE Shootout last year after his involvement with LIV Golf.
“Sadly, after 33 consecutive years of playing in and hosting every Shootout tournament—a co-sanctioned PGA Tour event—since I founded it in 1989, this year I have been asked not to attend,” Norman wrote in an Instagram post.
“PGA Tour athletes playing alongside the best athletes from the LPGA Tour is going to be incredible for our fans,” Tony Finau said. “They’ve been wanting something like this for a long time. Our fans deserve it, and seeing Grant Thornton stepping up to help the PGA Tour and LPGA Tour put together this tournament, I think is very special.”
“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,” Nelly Korda said. “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.”
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