Two teams were tied for the lead with three holes to play. Another was a shot back after firing the low round of the afternoon, a blistering 12-under 60. Seven teams finished within four shots of the lead.
In short, the inaugural Grant Thornton Invitational delivered.
The team event featuring pairs of LPGA and PGA Tour players at Tiburon Golf Club in Naples, Florida, was won by Lydia Ko at Jason Day following a final-round effort of 6-under 66 to finish at 26 under for the tournament. The winners will split the $1 million top prize, while last place will share $120,000.
Brooke Henderson and Corey Conners took the clubhouse lead at 25 under and walked off the course tied with Ko and Day, who still had two holes to play to separate. Ko, who struggled by her lofty standards this season, stepped up late and delivered a gem of an approach to the par-5 17th to set up an easy birdie to take the late lead.
The Grant Thornton Invitational was a new concept on the silly season schedule, and PGA Tour players are hoping for more events like it. Friday’s first round was a scramble and Saturday’s second round was foursomes (alternate shot). Sunday’s final round, however, featured a unique modified fourball format. Both players teed off, switched balls for their second shots and played that ball until the hole was finished.
Madelene Sagstrom and Ludvig Aberg shot a 12-under 60 to finish third at 24 under, while the teams Leona Maguire and Lucas Glover, Lexi Thompson and Rickie Fowler, and Nelly Korda and Tony Finau finished T-5 at 22 under.