New mixed event to feature 16 teams, $4M purse

Golf

The new mixed event that is replacing the QBE Shootout will include 16 teams of players from the LPGA Tour and PGA Tour competing in a three-day tournament for a $4 million purse.

The Grant Thornton Invitational will be played Dec. 8-10 at Tiburón Golf Club in Naples, Florida, according to a release from the tours Wednesday.

The tours haven’t staged an annual mixed-team competition since 1999, when Laura Davies and John Daly won the final edition of the JCPenney Classic. The JCPenney Classic was played annually from 1960 to 1999 but was canceled because of a lack of interest from top players.

In 1996, Tiger Woods played with fellow USGA amateur championship winner Kelli Kuehne and finished third in the JC Penney Classic.

“As we look to capitalize on the growing interest in the game of golf, the addition of a mixed event to the calendar has been a priority, and we greatly appreciate title sponsor Grant Thornton for their support in delivering an event that will make our sport more appealing and welcoming to all,” PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said in a statement. “We look forward to partnering with the LPGA as we deliver first-class entertainment and competition to our fans and the residents of Southwest Florida, who have embraced the PGA Tour for the past 22 years.”

Last year, Nelly Korda and Lexi Thompson competed with Denny McCarthy and Maverick McNealy, respectively, in the QBE Shootout, and other women have competed in men’s events over the years.

“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,” Korda said in a statement. “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.”

Tiburón Golf Club will continue to host the LPGA Tour’s season-ending CME Group Tour Championship, which is scheduled for Nov. 16-19.

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