Every golf fan should be ecstatic about the 2023 Grant Thornton Invitational. The mixed team event taking place this weekend at Tiburón Golf Club in Naples, FL is the first co-sanctioned PGA Tour and LPGA Tour event since 1999, which makes it a landmark event in the golf world. More importantly, though, it should be a fun, competitive and unique tournament for 32 of the best golfers in the world.
The team of Nelly Korda and Tony Finau is the favorite to win the Grant Thornton Invitational, followed closely behind by Madelene Sagstrom and Ludvig Aberg, the latter or whom is coming off of his first career PGA Tour win a few weeks ago at the RSM Classic. But with other big names like Rose Zhang (paired with Sahith Theegala), Jason Day (playing with Lydia Ko) and the dynamic duo of Lexi Thompson and Rickie Fowler, it should be a treat for fans.
But how do we pick this event? With only 16 teams, our PGA Tour expert picks are going to be lighter than normal, but we’re still going to offer up a card. We’re coming off of the Hero World Challenge where we had a solid overall week, up 2.9 units. Let’s keep that going to finish 2023 strong as we make or Grant Thornton Invitational picks and best bets for this week in Naples.
Note: All odds are courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook unless otherwise noted. Odds will update periodically. For more betting picks and advice, check out BetSided.
Golf betting record in 2023 through Hero World Challenge: 56-161-2, +23.796 units (5-54 on outrights, 0.5 unit bets, 0.1 unit longshot bets | +2.9 units at Hero)
Rose Zhang/Sahith Theegala to win Grant Thornton Invitational, 0.5 units (+1200, DraftKings)
Full disclosure, I think Nelly Korda/Tony Finau and Madeiline Sagstrom/Ludvig Aberg are the rightful favorites to win. But as we build our betting card, the odds just aren’t at a point where I can rightfully get behind them for a half-unit. Instead, I’m going with the upside of Sahith Theegala and Rose Zhang.
The uber-talented Zhang who turned pro in 2023 after dominating at Stanford won her LPGA debut and put together a phenomenal overall rookie season. She has a complete game that should fit well into the team format at the Grant Thornton Invitational. Beyond that, Theegala can drive it long and can get hot on approach, but his short game has been firing in his recent starts. The raw talent of this pairing is immense, so I like a little sprinkle as my pick to win this week.
Madelene Sagstrom/Ludvig Aberg to finish Top 5 (+100, DraftKings)
We’re not overextending ourselves here, but I don’t see how this pairing of Swedish golf stars in Sagstrom and Aberg doesn’t show up in a big way this week. Aberg is already one of the best drivers of the golf ball in the world in his rookie season. Sagstrom, meanwhile, is a Top 10 driver in distance on the LPGA Tour this past year and has been a popper many times throughout her career. This pairing feels comfortable and dangerous with their ability off the tee, so I like the even money bet for just a Top 5 finish in a 16-team field, especially with a scramble and modified four-ball involved.
Korda/Finau, Sagstrom/Aberg, Zhang/Theegala, Ko/Day to finish Top 10 Parlay (+228)
Shockingly enough, there aren’t any plus-money bets for a Top 10 when there are only 16 teams in the field. So we’re getting creative with four teams that have my attention to all get into that Top 10 and parlaying them together. Kordan and Finau could be lethal with the combination of distance and touch between the two and I expect them to contend to win.
Meanwhile, we’ve already talked about Sagstrom/Aberg and Zhang/Theegala and why we’re high on them. Finally, the Lydia Ko/Jason Day pairing seems to match up nicely as well as having some familiarity in addition to the obvious talent and upside. At +228, this feels like a decent way to find some value, even if the parlay does add the obvious risk.