The inaugural Grant Thornton Invitational was a massive success for the LPGA and PGA Tours.
Regardless of where they finished, players loved this event and are hopeful it will return in 2024. They want more mixed events in the future and weren’t afraid to express those feelings.
Lydia Ko and Jason Day took home the first title after posting a 26-under to win by one shot. They both couldn’t say enough about the tournament and how it was incredible for golf. The duo is already ready to defend their title in 2024.
“I feel like the fans and the players have wanted something like this for a long time. It was just fun,” Day said. “Overall, it’s been a tremendous week to play with Lydia. Just lifelong friends from now on, you know.”
Ko mirrored her partner’s response as it meant even more for the women’s game.
“This week, I think every player that’s here, whether it’s the PGA Tour player or LPGA player, I think we’re here for more than just the prize money and winning. It’s about the growth of the game. It’s great that we got to win on top of that. This is a start for many more exciting things to come, and I’m excited to be a part of this partnership.”
A massive crowd followed them all week, and it seemed like every single pairing had a large group of people with them.
Ko and Day weren’t the only players thrilled with the Grant Thornton Invitational.
“After my experience this week, I’d love for more events to be added where the PGA TOUR players can play alongside the LPGA Tour players,” Corey Conners said on Sunday. “They’re so impressive. It was so much fun this week. Hopefully, it will lead to more in the future.”
Madelene Sagström played alongside fellow Swedish golfer Ludvig Åberg. She also had nothing but positive things to say.
“It’s been a very big week for women’s golf this week, and showing how good we are with you guys,” Sagström said. “For us, it’s something that we’ve been waiting for and looking forward to for a long time. I played a couple of mixed events before, but not in this format. I think to grow golf in general across the board, it’s good to spice it up.”
Sagström clearly took this event personally as a female. She and her fellow ladies proved themselves throughout the entire week.
She took a lot of pleasure in participating in this event this week as all the women received a ton of love.
“For everyone that’s been here, I think it’s been a lot of fun for them,” she said. “Lexi [Thompson] did get a bigger cheer than Rickie [Fowler] did on the tee box yesterday, and I take pride in that. It’s just been a great week to show off our games — even compared to each other.”
Åberg said he would love to play in more mixed events himself. The duo had side wagers going with each other all week, making it even more enjoyable.
“It’s really good for the game. It builds relationships that — these guys I would never meet anyway, so it was really cool to hang out with some new people, some other people, and actually spend time together and play together,” Åberg said. “I realize that the women’s golf is really good. It was a fun week, and I would love to do it again.”
The first mixed event since 1999 went extremely well. Everyone in the field loved it, and the fans appeared to enjoy it as well. Hopefully, Ko and Day’s win isn’t the only one, and there won’t be decades between the next male-female golf tournament.
Savannah Leigh Richardson is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. For more golf coverage, be sure to follow us @_PlayingThrough on all major social platforms. You can also follow her on Twitter @SportsGirlSL and Instagram @savannah_leigh_sports.