LPGA and PGA golfers will hit the links together in 2023
The GIST: It’s official: LPGA and PGA golfers will hit the links together in 2023. After reports of a collab surfaced last year, the women’s and men’s golf tours announced the Grant Thornton Invitational on Wednesday. The event will tee off in Naples, Florida this December and replaces the QBE Shootout.
The details: A total of 32 players — 16 from each tour — will compete for a slice of the $4M prize purse. Four Grant Thornton ambassadors already booked their spot in the competition: LPGA No. 2 Nelly Korda will partner with PGA No. 12 Tony Finau, while LPGA No. 20 Jessica Korda will team up with PGA No. 72 Rickie Fowler.
- The Grant Thornton Invitational will air on NBC and the Golf Channel during a year of increased visibility for the LPGA. NBC has more than 40 hours of live TV coverage on the 2023 schedule, and four majors will hit network TV this year. *golf clap*
The context: This is the LPGA and PGA’s first joint venture since the JC Penney Classic — which ran from 1980 to 1999 — but it isn’t the only recent crossover event on the course. In a golf first, the Australian Open held simultaneous women’s and men’s competitions last December and awarded equal prize money.
Zooming out: If the LPGA and PGA find success with joint events, the golf bodies should consider becoming golf buddies. Tennis can serve as inspiration — the sport has 1B global fans thanks to its unique spotlight on both female and male players, and the WTA and ATP may formally partner to maximize their financial potential.