Discussion: Should the WGC eliminate the match play format?
By mustang6560 on 2/22/13
A friend sent me an email last night with the subject, "This is why the WGC match play sucks every year!". The email included a link to a story saying both Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods were bounced in the first round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship.

It sucks Rory and Tiger will spend the weekend in Florida (TV ratings will suffer as a result). But, to suggest the first WGC event of the season "sucks every year" because it uses the match play format is a little dramatic.

Match play used to be the format in golf. The U.S. Amateur and the Amateur Championship, which once were major championships, use a combination of stroke play and match play. Some players, including Ian Poulter, think match play is the purest form of golf. But it's not TV-friendly because there is a possibility the player(s) everyone wants to watch (a la Rory and Tiger) may get knocked out before the tournament really starts.

It's the first time since 2001 that the top two players in the Official World Golf Ranking were eliminated in the first round. In the 15 year history, only twice have the top two seeds lost. Further, Tiger has won the event three times and Rory finished runner-up last year.

What is your opinion on the match play format? Should the WGC drop it in lieu of stroke play, which is a more TV-friendly format?

[ comments ]
SpaceMaNy0 says:
If anything they need one or two more match play events. I always wonder why it's just the one. Apples to oranges, I used to say the same thing with road courses in NASCAR. Golf 1 in 48 (not sure how many events there are) NASCAR 2 in 36. Seems uneven, and rather than taking them out I think they should increase them.
GolfSmith7 says:
They ought to do it at least 2 times a year. Yeah it sucks Tiger and Rory where bounced... but oh well they should have played better.
jasonfish11 says:
I agree with both above posts.

I like the US-am format. A mix of the 2. I think a Thursday-Friday stroke play event with Saturday and Sunday match play for the top 16. 36 holes on Saturday and Sunday.
mjaber says:
Keep it. I think they should add another match play tourney, and a skins tourney into the mix as well.

Different doesn't mean bad.
Duke of Hazards says:
hell no. match play rules. it's one of my favorite tourneys of the year. there's a whole other level of strategy involved with the format, both with gamesmanship and safe/aggressive plays dependent on the situation. like these other guys said, i wish they would add 1 or 2 more match play events to the schedule. can't wait for the day/henley match. jason day is pretty ruthless in this format, doesn't give away nothing but henley appears to have the mental game to hold up.
GBogey says:
I'd like to see it much more often, but it doesnt play well for TV or ticket sales when only 4 guys are playing on Sunday, and that means less money.
jcstoll says:
More match play, not less. It's way more exciting than regular stroke play. Yeah, too bad about Tiger and Rory. But that Lowry guy was making some incredible shots.

Also recall neither of them made the cut at Abu Dhabi.
slimpks1850 says:
Elminate match play, that's insane. I'd like to see 'em play reverse scramble like they do in the Skills Challenge... I love that format for pros.
jgideon84 says:
Keep it. Changes things up, different strategy, one opponent at a time, its great. I would like to see more match play and more tournaments with formats other than stroke play. Some people just have bad days, THATS GOLF!
Bernie Duffer says:
Match play is a wonderful change of pace. Your favorite player(s) and some of the top players lost. Upsets! That is part of the appeal of the format...like the NCAA Basketball Championship.
bsta93 says:
I enjoy watching these guys compete in different formats. Watching stroke play every weekend gets a bit stale. I would love to see some 2 man team competitions for money, similar to some of the formats in the Ryder Cup.
legitimatebeef says:
Nathan, you can't go making a post every time one of your goofball friends makes a golf related comment. But while I'm here, I think match play is cool. If anything there ought to be one more match event in the schedule.

But I fail to see how match play is the purest form of golf. Purity is you, a ball, hole it out 18 times, count up your strokes at the end. Stroke play. In match play you can play 18 holes and not have your ball touch the bottom of the cup once. What's so pure about that. In match play you take wild chances with no regard for your total score because there is no total score. Fun yes, but again what's so pure about that. Plus if it's lopsided enough a match can end on the 10th hole--which if you ask me, not that pure. And finally if match play is so pure then what does that make strokeplay, some kind of convoluted perverted form of golf? I don't think so Jack.
mmontisano says:
i think he means it is pure golf by going toe to toe with 1 person instead of 150. i would play it more, but most of the people i play with aren't interested.
Trip says:
Poulter is just saying it's the "purest form" because it's the only form he is good at.
GolferAnt says:
we need more match play
theebdk says:
It is fun to have a different format every once in a while. Mixes things up as long as it is not silly season. I enjoyed it so much I took the smartphone out in church checking the matches. Hope Pastor did not notice. I never do that during stroke play.
chipotle mg says:
keep the match play. even though it is not the most interesting to watch for the vast majority of tv viewers especially in the case of a blowout it is still a great way for golfers to compete. one event out of the year isn't too much.
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