The Grant Thornton Invitational will consist of three distinct playing formats when the mixed-team golf event debuts this December in Naples as part of the Challenge Season.
The multi-format approach will feature scramble, foursome and modified four-ball, each played in consecutive rounds of the three-day tournament, set for Dec. 8-10 at Tiburon Golf Club.
The tournament’s 32-player field, consisting of 16 teams evenly comprised of PGA TOUR and LPGA Tour professionals, will compete for an equal purse of $4 million.
“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, tournament director of the Grant Thornton Invitational. “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.”
Four of the 16 team pairings have been announced: Sahith Theegala and Rose Zhang, Tony Finau and Nelly Korda, Rickie Fowler and Jessica Korda and Canadian golfers Corey Conners and Brooke Henderson.
The Grant Thornton replaces the QBE Shootout, which was founded by Greg Norman in 1989 and had been played in Naples since 2001. Last year, Theegala teamed with Tom Hoge to win the 2022 QBE Shootout, coming from two down in the final round to edge Ryan Palmer and Charley Hoffman.
Here’s a look at the three playing formats the Grant Thornton will employ.
Friday, Dec. 8: 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.
Saturday, Dec. 9: 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.
Sunday, Dec. 10: 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.
For more information or to purchase tickets, visit grantthorntoninvitational.com.
This article originally appeared on Naples Daily News: Grant Thornton Invitational in Naples releases golf tournament formats