WGC Match Play To SFO, New Format
By Torleif Sorenson on 7/2/14
San Francisco's public golfers (and golf fans in general) were probably already happy to hear that the 2020 PGA Championship and the 2025 Presidents Cup would be held at TPC Harding Park (above). Now, their proverbial cups runneth over — again.
As reported by Ron Kroichick of the San Francisco Chronicle, the PGA Tour will reportedly move the WGC Match Play to Harding Park for the 2015 season. The Match Play has been played in Arizona in February over the last several years, but has been plagued by weather problems, as well as the withdrawal of Accenture as the title sponsor.
At a press conference scheduled for later today at San Francisco City Hall, the tour is also expected to announce new tournament dates in May, to maximize the possibility of dry weather during the tournament. The WGC-Match Play has had notoriously bad weather since the event moved to Arizona from California in 2007.
Also in the cards is a World Cup-style format, versus the individual format the event has had since the Match Play began in 1999. As with the FIFA World Cup tournament being played in Brazil, the top 64 players in the Official World Golf Ranking will qualify for the Match Play, divided into 16 four-player groups. Those groups will then have a minimum of three days of round-robin match play on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of the tournament. Among other things, this format is expected to attract more of the top players by ensuring that they will have at least three days at the tournament.
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Image via TPC Harding Park
[ comments ]
I like the new format because anyone can have a bad round.
Torleif Sorenson says:
At this rate, Harding Park is also likely to host a U2 concert, an episode of Desperate Landscapes on HGTV, and a game of the Stanley Cup Final - that is, if the San Jose Sharks can ever figure out how to make it to the Final.
I liked the old dog-eat-dog format. I don't like the change, to me it reeks of a combination of World Cup bandwagoneering and a pollyanna attempt to soften the pain of losing. Losing can be bad for TV ratings. You know, the PGA championship, that supposedly "major" championship, ditched matchplay for that very reason. Aren't you tired of TV dictating sports competition? Dictating life? Did you know in some sports like basketball, there is actually something called a "TV time-out"? Speaking of basketball I guess the bloom is off the "March Madness" rose--I thought everyone was gaga over the old single elimination, do or die style competition. Feh, just change it to a four-round stroke-play tournament already. Why put off the inevitable.
Torleif Sorenson says:
Beef, I'm with you on the new format; if the decision were mine alone, I would probably have stuck with the single-elimination format.
I prefer the original format. This seems to be another "everybody gets a trophy". Also, does it make sense to have the match play in San Francisco and The Players Championship in Jacksonville the following week?
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