NASSAU, Bahamas — Nelly Korda and Lexi Thompson are representing the LPGA Tour this week within the QBE Shootout. Subsequent 12 months, they may have loads of firm.
The QBE Shootout will change into a mixed-team occasion beginning in 2023, returning such a format to the schedule for the primary time for the reason that JC Penney Basic in 1999.
Gamers have been knowledgeable of the change at a gathering final week within the Bahamas.
Particulars haven’t been confirmed, such because the qualification standards or the format. The QBE Shootout dates to 1989 when it was extra generally often known as the Shark Shootout.
“I feel it is one thing that wanted to be accomplished for fairly some time,” Billy Horschel mentioned. “Once you have a look at the sport of golf, the followers wish to see extra crew occasions, see one thing completely different. It is going to profit the PGA Tour, however I feel it will profit the LPGA Tour much more by way of getting extra publicity.”
The PGA Tour had been engaged on changing the World Cup of Golf right into a mixed-team occasion, however progress was slowed when the COVID-19 pandemic arrived.
The mixed-team format dated to 1960 when it was referred to as the Haig & Haig Scotch Foursome. Mickey Wright used to play, as did Sam Snead. Previous champions of the JC Penney Basic included Curtis Unusual and Nancy Lopez. Beth Daniel received it thrice, twice with Davis Love III and as soon as with Tom Kite.
Tiger Woods performed in 1996 with Kelli Kuehne, each reigning U.S. Novice champions that 12 months who had signed Nike contracts.
The latest winners have been John Daly and Laura Davies in 1999.
“That is lengthy overdue. It will likely be a large enhance,” mentioned Dottie Pepper, who received in 1992 with Dan Forsman. “It was a a enjoyable week. And if you happen to have been in rivalry, it was a grind.”
The QBE Shootout has featured just a few LPGA gamers in recent times. Ditto for the previous CVS Charity Basic in New England, the place Juli Inkster and Natalie Gulbis have been the primary girls to play in 2007.
One of many extra distinguished mixed-team occasions was the “Battle at Bighorn” in 2001 when Woods and Annika Sorenstam went additional holes to beat David Duval and Karrie Webb.
The purse this week at Tiburon Golf Membership in Naples, Florida, is $3.8 million, with every crew splitting the $950,000 winner’s examine. Solely seven LPGA occasions provided a bigger first-place examine this 12 months than $425,000, together with the 5 majors and the $2 million prize on the CME Group Tour Championship.
“I feel the 12 months Donna Andrews received it, that was her greatest examine of the 12 months,” Pepper mentioned. “It was a cut up purse proper down the center.”
“The LPGA tacked on our service charge. It was like 6%. So we truly obtained a smaller examine than our companions,” Pepper mentioned with fun.
Cash will probably be an incentive for LPGA gamers. The bottom line is what number of high PGA Tour gamers have an interest, although not lots of them play now within the QBE Shootout. The sphere of 12 groups this 12 months has 9 of the highest 50. Max Homa at No. 16 is the highest-ranked participant.
Participation of high gamers is what contributed to the demise of the JC Penney Basic.
“The blended crew again in our day, there was nothing within the offseason,” mentioned two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Unusual, who received in 1980 with Nancy Lopez. “It was an opportunity to knock some rust off in some good climate. It was nice enjoyable. You bought to satisfy the ladies of their tour, which was factor, have a beer collectively.
“Once you get to know one another there turns into extra mutual respect,” he mentioned. “And a few of these friendships final ceaselessly.”
Inkster received the JC Penney in 1986 with Tom Purtzer, and he or she mentioned they’re like siblings to this present day due to time spent on the match.
“It was one among my favourite tournaments,” Inkster mentioned. “The fellows who did not wish to play did not play. And people who did have been there. However that is how I obtained to know these guys very well. It was good cash and plenty of enjoyable. It was good for the lads to see the ladies play, and the way nicely they will play.
“You benefit from the firm. Find out about you, study me and let’s go win the factor.”