Is Grant Thornton Invitational the First Mixed Event Between the PGA Tour and the LPGA?

Published 12/04/2023, 7:00 AM EST

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Golf fans everywhere are gleefully swapping stories and playful banter about the idea of getting to see male and female golfers teeing off on the same greens. With the maiden Grant Thornton Invitational taking the stage as a mixed tourney, hopes to see some spectacular play on the greens have increased.

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As the players now prepare for the upcoming tournament, a question has surfaced: Is the Grant Thornton Invitational the first event to be staged by the PGA Tour and LPGA Tour together?

Has there been any mixed PGA Tour and LPGA Tour events before?

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There have been times on the greens when the golfers from the realm of LPGA and PGA Tour have played together—be it in opposition or as a team. Looking back, the JCPenney Classic Golf Tournament was the biggest show-stopper of its time. The tournament stole the spotlight as a mixed-team event, pairing PGA Tour and LPGA Tour players from the early 1960s until 1999.

Its formats included the Pinehurst, better ball, alternate shot, and scramble, and on the course, players of all performing cadences would get to show their skills. Winners from the past have been John Daly and Laura Davies in 1999, Tiger Woods and Kelli Kuehne in 1996, and Davis Love III and Beth Daniel, amongst others.

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In recent years, not many such events have taken place, and so that makes the 2023 Grant Thornton Invitational a must-watch because fans will get to see their favorite players on the greens together after decades of separate play. Even though tournaments like the Shriners Children’s Open have given the platform for LPGA Tour stars to play on the PGA Tour and compete with other pro golfers, the mix of the two worlds otherwise isn’t as common.

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Now, while the expectations of fans for more mixed events increase, here’s a look at what you can expect from the Grant Thornton Invitational in Florida.

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What’s different about the Grant Thornton Invitational?

Taking a fast-forward step to the present, the Grant Thornton Invitational sets a new standard for the upcoming mixed tourneys—in case we get to see more of it. The event is scheduled for December 8–10, 2023, at Tiburón Golf Club in Naples, Florida, and is planning on introducing three unique formats: scramble that is similar to the JCPenney Classic, foursome, and modified four-ball.

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The 32-player field is going to be evenly divided between the PGA Tour and LPGA Tour professionals, who will all vie for a total of $4 million, with the top individuals from the LPGA and PGA Tour taking $720,000 each. Other than the play, the event also promises festivities, including a live festival featuring musical performances—therefore, a must-watch.

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Written by:

Maheen Sajjad

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I am Maheen Sajjad, a golf writer at EssentiallySports. I blazed through the ranks of the ES recruitment drive and made it to the team with my credible journalistic abilities. In the past, I served as an editor for my college department newsletter.
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Edited by:

Riya Singhal

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