What is the Grant Thornton Invitational format?

CME Group Tour Championship - Round Three
CME Group Tour Championship - Round Three / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

The Grant Thornton Invitational is one of the biggest landmark golf tournaments that we've seen in quite a while. Taking over Tiburón Golf Club in Naples, FL, this will mark the first co-sanctioned event from the PGA Tour and LPGA Tour since 1999 when the last rendition of the JCPenney Classic was played. That's right -- golf fans finally get to watch the best from the men's and women's games playing together!

It figures to be a thrilling event as it takes the place of the QBE Shootout, a men's team event on the golf calendar in previous years, which was played at the same course in Naples. There is a ton more to get amped for this week as we'll see the likes of Rose Zhang, Rickie Fowler, Ludvig Aberg, Nelly Korda, Lexi Thompson, Tony Finau and 32 golfers in total -- 16 from the PGA and LPGA Tours apiece -- duke it out.

So how exactly is this going to work? Let's dive into the Grant Thornton Invitational format to figure that out so fans can be in on what they're watching at this historic tournament.

Grant Thornton Invitational format: Rules, schedule explained

First and foremost, the Grant Thornton Invitational will be a team event pairing one PGA Tour player with one LPGA Tour player. As a result, the competition at Tiburón Golf Club will feature team match play formats that will change every day through the three-day event.

On Friday for the first round, the 16 mixed teams will play in a scramble format. On Saturday for the second round, it will be a return to the familiar foursomes or alternate shot format we see at the Ryder Cup and other team competitions. We will then have a modified four-ball format for Sunday's third round.

The modified four-ball format will be fascinating to see. Each player on a team will tee off. However, they will then switch balls after the tee shot and finish out the hole from the tee shot that their teammate hit. The lowest score from each team will be counted on the scorecard for each hole with that format.

Need a little more information about the scramble and alternate shot formats? We've got you covered there too.

What is the scramble format in golf?

Golfers who play in local tournaments likely know about a 4-person scramble, but how will the 2-person scramble work at the Grant Thornton Invitational? Essentially, it'll be similar, just with fewer people in the mix.

Slightly different than best ball, each player on a team hits a tee shot. They then compare the two results, pick the best shot, and both players will hit from the spot (or within one club-length) from where the best shot landed. That will then continue until the ball is in the cup with the best score from the team. This differs from best ball which simply allows both players to play their own ball for the hole and take the best score.

What is the alternate shot format in golf?

Alternate shot on the PGA Tour and LPGA Tour, as well as for the Grant Thornton Invitational, is relatively self-explanatory. One player from each mixed team will tee off on the odd-numbered holes while the other player on the team tees off on the even-numbered holes. That is set in stone as to who tees off on each hole. The alternate shot then comes into play as the players will alternate who hits the next shot until a hole is finished.

For example, if Player A tees off on the first hole, Player B will then hit the second shot. Player A would hit the third shot and, for the purposes of example, Player B then finishes up by making the putt for the fourth shot. Even though Player B hit the final shot on the previous hole, they would still tee off on No. 2.

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