Korda-Finau Are Favored in the Inaugural Grant Thornton Invitational

The inaugural Grant Thornton Invitational, a mixed-team event featuring stars from the PGA and LPGA Tours, will begin a three-day run Friday on the Gold Course at Tiburon Golf Club in Tiburon, Fla.

This will be the first mixed-team tournament involving LPGA and PGA Tour players since John Daly and Laura Davies of England captured the final edition of the JC Penney Classic in 1999 at Innisbrook Resort in Palm Harbor, Fla.

“From an LPGA player perspective, it’s exciting to play alongside the guys on tour and I think the Grant Thornton Invitational will be a great platform to join forces to help grow the game for the next generation,” said Nelly Korda, who will team with Tony Finau.

Said Finau: “Having the PGA Tour stars play alongside the best players from the LPGA is going to be incredible for our fans. Our fans deserve it.”

Finau and Korda are listed as the betting favorites in the 16-team field, followed by Ludvig Aberg and Madelene Sagstrom, both of Sweden; Justin Rose and Charley Hull, both of England; Corey Conners and Brooke Henderson, both of Canada, and Denny McCarthy and Megan Khang.

Other teams to watch include Sahith Theegala of Chino Hills and Pepperdine, and rookie Rose Zhang of Irvine and Stanford; Jason Day of Australia and Lydia Ko of New Zealand; Harris English and Celine Boutier of France, and Rickie Fowler of Murrieta and Lexi Thompson.

Rounding out the field are Nick Taylor of Canada and Ruoning Yin of China; Lucas Glover and Leona Maguire of Ireland; Joel Dahmen and Lilia Vu of Fountain Valley and UCLA;  Russell Henley and Mel Reid of England; Tom Hoge and Cheyenne Knight; Billy Horschel and Andrea Lee of Hermosa Beach and Stanford, and Cameron Champ of Sacramento and Allisen Corpuz of Hawaii and USC.

“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.

Added LPGA Tour Commissioner Mollie Marcoux Samaan: “I think the Grant Thornton Invitational is going to be amazing. It’s more opportunity to get exposure for our athletes, and people have been asking for this for a long time, and we’re really excited for the partnership with the PGA Tour and Grant Thornton.”

The 16 teams will play a scramble format on the first day, followed by foursomes (alternate shot) on Saturday, before concluding with a new format to team play called modified four-ball on Sunday. Both players on each team will tee off and then they will switch balls for their second shots and play that ball until holing out. The lower score of the two partners will count as the team score.

The event will be televised on the Golf Channel each day.

For first-round tee times and complete results once the tournament begins, visit: https://www.pgatour.com/leaderboard

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