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Tony Finau and Nelly Korda lead Grant Thornton Invitational after spectacular finish

Tony Finau and Nelly Korda share the lead after the opening round of the PGA Tour's mixed-gender Grant Thornton Invitational team event.

The duo seized the lead with an eagle-birdie finish on Friday to notch a remarkable 16-under 56 in the scramble format, which sees both players hitting tee shots, picking the best shot and playing from the same spot. 

Their performance nudged them into a one-shot lead in this groundbreaking event which sees players from the PGA Tour and LPGA teaming up.

Finau shared his excitement after grabbing the lead, saying, "It was an incredible experience. We had a blast out there, and we really delivered some exceptional shots. I witnessed some fantastic plays and some incredible putts."

Korda echoed his sentiments, praising Finau's 9-iron shot on the par-5 17th hole that paved the way for an eagle. 

"I got to witness shots that I don't usually see on the women's tour," she remarked. "That 9-iron shot you played on No. 17 was truly extraordinary. Experiencing it firsthand was an absolute delight."

Lucas Glover and Leona Maguire began strongly, birdying their initial 10 holes at Tiburon Golf Club on the way to a 57, which saw them tie with Denny McCarthy and Megan Khang for second place.

Sahith Theegala, last year's victor of the tournament when it was known as the QBE Shootout alongside Tom Hoge, teamed up this time with Rose Zhang. They settled at 14-under 58, joined by Canadian Open champion Nick Taylor and Angel Yin, who impressively birdied their final seven holes.

Justin Rose and Charley Hull, along with Jason Day and Lydia Ko, also concluded the day at 58.

For some players, this marked their first encounter since Tuesday's practice round. While Glover was already acquainted with Maguire, he took some time to prepare. 

"I figured out early on that getting her close to the green would mean less putting for me," he said. "When I saw our pairing, I did my research, and I had watched some of the Solheim Cup recently. Although we play different tours, we were familiar enough to sync up."

The scramble format for the 16 teams resulted in an impressive 174 birdies and 14 eagles. The lone score above par was recorded by Hoge and Cheyenne Knight, who struggled with a double bogey on the second hole, finishing at 6-under 66.

Saturday will shift to foursomes, also known as alternate shot, before the unofficial tournament concludes on Sunday with fourballs.

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