WGC Match Play
|Established||1999, 21 years ago|
|Course(s)||Austin Country Club|
|Length||7,108 yards (6,500 m)|
|Tournament record score|
9 & 8 Tiger Woods (2006)
8 & 7 Tiger Woods (2008)
The WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play is a professional golf tournament hosted at the Austin Country Club in Texas since 2016, and is the only one of the four annual World Golf Championships to be contested using match play format.
Previous names include WGC-Dell Match Play (2015), WGC-Cadillac Match Play (2014), WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship (2001–2013), and WGC-Andersen Consulting Match Play Championship (1999–2000). Before moving to Austin it had been hosted in Arizona eight times, California eight times, and Australia once. It is sanctioned and organized by the International Federation of PGA Tours and the prize money is official money on the PGA Tour, the European Tour and the Japan Golf Tour. Tiger Woods has the record number of wins with three. The winner receives a wedgwood trophy named the Walter Hagan Cup.
Match Play tournaments before 1999
The match play format fell out of favor in professional individual golf tournaments with the growth of television. The two major match play tournaments in the pre TV era were the PGA Championship, which converted to stroke play format in 1958, and the British PGA Matchplay Championship which faced a slow decline after the introduction of the British PGA Championship in 1955 (which had a stroke play format), and eventually became defunct in 1979. Match play became mainly associated with amateur tournaments, and team tournaments such as the Ryder Cup.
Despite not being popular with television companies, and often requiring more rounds to be played by a player than a stroke play event, the format was still respected as offering a different challenge than stroke play. At the end of the 1990s, there were two significant unofficial match play tournaments, the relatively new Andersen Consulting World Championship of Golf, which had a 32-man field with the finals played in Arizona, and the much older World Match Play Championship, which had a field of 16 players or less and was played in England.
Early years in southern California and briefly Australia (1999–2006)
When the World Golf Championships were formed in 1999, it was decided one of the events would be held in match play format, which meant the return of an official match play event on the PGA Tour and the European Tour. The WGC-Andersen Consulting Match Play was in effect the successor of the Andersen Consulting World Championship of Golf, which was discontinued. The World Match Play Championship in England continued, but lost prestige after the introduction of the WGC event, and eventually became defunct in 2014. The format of the new WGC competition was a straight knock out tournament involving the top 64 players in the Official World Golf Ranking, with each match played over 18 holes, except the final which was played over 36 holes. The first two events were held in February 1999 and 2000 at the La Costa Resort and Spa in Southern California.
In 2001, the tournament sponsor was renamed, and the tournament followed suit, becoming known as the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. The tournament was held in early January by the highly regarded Metropolitan Golf Club in Melbourne, Australia. Nearly forty players turned down their invitation, including six of the top ten. This was largely seen as because it was played very early in the year when some players have an off season, and for many players the travel time was too long when playing a single tournament where you could end up playing just a single round. The following year the tournament returned to La Costa Resort and Spa in Southern California where it remained until 2006.
Hosting in the Tucson, Arizona area (2007–2014)
In 2007 and 2008, it was played at The Gallery Golf Club at Dove Mountain in Marana, Arizona, and from 2009 to 2014 at the nearby Ritz-Carlton Golf Club (renamed as simply "The Golf Club at Dove Mountain" in 2013). Tiger Woods is the most successful player in the WGC Match Play, and he won his three titles in Arizona, although he was less dominant than he was in the other U.S.-based World Golf Championship events. Geoff Ogilvy became the second most successful player in the tournament's history after winning in 2006 and 2009 and finishing runner up in 2007. Despite normal highs of 69 °F (21 °C) in Marana in February, the tournament was delayed by snow/hailstones in 2011, and snow in 2013. Also in 2011, the format of the final was reduced to 18 holes instead of 36 holes, similar to the other rounds of the tournament.
Format changes, a year in California, then Austin (2015 onwards)
As well as the intermittent weather issues in Dove Mountain, the performance of the WGC Match Play was a concern for other reasons, with Rex Hoggard of the Golf Channel remarking "Since 2007, when the Tour uprooted the Match Play from La Costa for the Tucson highlands, the galleries have been thin, the golf courses have been tolerated and the Sundays have been largely undistinguished". In 2015 the tournament underwent a revamp, moving to TPC Harding Park, a municipal course owned by the city and county of San Francisco, and became sponsored by Cadillac (who also sponsored the WGC Championship). The tournament moved from February to April 27 – May 3, the week prior to The Players Championship. The structure was changed so the field was split into 16 four-player groups played on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, with the player with the best record advancing. The four knockout rounds are then split over Saturday and Sunday. The format ensured that spectators could guarantee to see the entire field on the first three days, and some coverage would occur in primetime in the East Coast of the United States.
After one year in California, the tournament moved to March with a new long term home and sponsor, the Austin Country Club in Texas, and Dell (which is headquartered in greater Austin area). The following year, as a result of the title sponsor's involvement in a merger the tournament became known as the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. In 2015, Jason Day became the third player to win multiple WGC Match Plays, and in 2016 Dustin Johnson won to become the only player to have won all four World Golf Championships. In early 2019, a deal was signed for Dell Technologies to remain the sponsor, and Austin Country Club the host, until at least 2023.
The tournament has a field of 64 players filled based upon the following criteria:
- Top 64 players from the Official World Golf Ranking (ten days prior to the event).
- If anyone within the top 64 is not available the field is filled by the next highest ranked player in the Official World Golf Ranking.
The tournament is split into two phases:
- The players are split into 16 groups of four players (each group has a player seeded 1–16, 17–32, 33–48, 49–64). Each group plays in a round-robin format over Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. One point is awarded for a win, and one-half point for a tie, with only the group winner qualifying to the next round. If two or more players are tied at the top of the group, there is a sudden death stroke play tie-breaker played to decide who progresses.
- The second phase is played as a knock out tournament, with the round of 16 and quarterfinals played on Saturday, and the semifinal, third-place playoff and final played on Sunday.
All matches are played over 18 holes.
|WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play|
|2020||Mar 29||Austin, Texas||Canceled due to the 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic|
|2019||Mar 31||Austin, Texas||Kevin Kisner||United States||48||50||Matt Kuchar||23||24||3 & 2||1,745,000||10,250,000|
|2018||Mar 25||Austin, Texas||Bubba Watson||United States||35||39||Kevin Kisner||36||32||7 & 6||1,700,000||10,000,000|
|2017||Mar 26||Austin, Texas||Dustin Johnson||United States||1||1||Jon Rahm||21||25||1 up||1,660,000||9,750,000|
|WGC-Dell Match Play|
|2016||Mar 27||Austin, Texas||Jason Day (2)||Australia||2||2||Louis Oosthuizen||16||18||5 & 4||1,620,000||9,500,000|
|WGC-Cadillac Match Play|
|2015||May 3||Harding Park, California||Rory McIlroy||Northern Ireland||1||1||Gary Woodland||50||52||4 & 2||1,570,000||9,250,000|
|WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship|
|2014||Feb 23||Dove Mountain, Arizona||Jason Day||Australia||8||11||Victor Dubuisson||27||30||23 holes||1,530,000||9,000,000|
|2013||Feb 24||Dove Mountain, Arizona||Matt Kuchar||United States||21||23||Hunter Mahan||23||25||2 & 1||1,500,000||8,750,000|
|2012||Feb 26||Dove Mountain, Arizona||Hunter Mahan||United States||21||22||Rory McIlroy||2||2||2 & 1||1,400,000||8,500,000|
|2011||Feb 27||Dove Mountain, Arizona||Luke Donald||England||9||9||Martin Kaymer||2||2||3 & 2||1,400,000||8,500,000|
|2010||Feb 21||Dove Mountain, Arizona||Ian Poulter||England||9||11||Paul Casey||6||8||4 & 2||1,400,000||8,500,000|
|2009||Mar 1||Dove Mountain, Arizona||Geoff Ogilvy (2)||Australia||8||8||Paul Casey||23||23||4 & 3||1,400,000||8,500,000|
|2008||Feb 24||The Gallery, Arizona||Tiger Woods (3)||United States||1||1||Stewart Cink||22||22||8 & 7||1,350,000||8,000,000|
|2007||Feb 25||The Gallery, Arizona||Henrik Stenson||Sweden||9||9||Geoff Ogilvy||11||11||2 & 1||1,350,000||8,000,000|
|2006||Feb 26||La Costa, California||Geoff Ogilvy||Australia||52||54||Davis Love III||23||24||3 & 2||1,300,000||7,500,000|
|2005||Feb 27||La Costa, California||David Toms||United States||14||15||Chris DiMarco||16||17||6 & 5||1,300,000||7,500,000|
|2004||Feb 29||La Costa, California||Tiger Woods (2)||United States||1||1||Davis Love III||3||4||3 & 2||1,200,000||7,000,000|
|2003||Mar 2||La Costa, California||Tiger Woods||United States||1||1||David Toms||6||7||2 & 1||1,050,000||6,000,000|
|2002||Feb 24||La Costa, California||Kevin Sutherland||United States||62||64||Scott McCarron||45||47||1 up||1,000,000||5,500,000|
|2001||Jan 7||Metropolitan, Australia||Steve Stricker||United States||55||90||Pierre Fulke||21||45||2 & 1||1,000,000||5,000,000|
|WGC-Andersen Consulting Match Play Championship|
|2000||Feb 27||La Costa, California||Darren Clarke||Northern Ireland||19||19||Tiger Woods||1||1||4 & 3||1,000,000||5,000,000|
|1999||Feb 28||La Costa, California||Jeff Maggert||United States||24||25||Andrew Magee||50||51||38 holes||1,000,000||5,000,000|
Seed – the player's seeding in the event.
Rank – the player's world ranking at the date the seedings were determined.
Numbers in parentheses in the table are the number of wins by the golfer.
- Most times won tournament – 3, Tiger Woods (2003, 2004, 2008)
- Most consecutive matches won – 13, Tiger Woods (2003–2005)
- Biggest winning margin: Championship match – 8 & 7, Tiger Woods over Stewart Cink (2008) (36 holes)
- Biggest winning margin: Other matches – 9 & 8, Tiger Woods over Stephen Ames (2006, 1st round)
- Longest championship match – 38 holes, Jeff Maggert over Andrew Magee (1999)
- Longest match (18 holes) – 26 holes, Scott Verplank over Lee Westwood (2006, 1st round), Mike Weir over Loren Roberts (2003, 1st round)
- "Tournament History". European Tour. Retrieved March 20, 2019.
- "PGA Tour Media Guide". PGA Tour. Retrieved March 20, 2019.
- Heath, Elliott (August 7, 2017). "The Best Trophies In Golf". Golf Monthly. Retrieved February 22, 2019.
- Barkow, Al (1974). Golf's Golden Grind: A History of the PGA Tour. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. ISBN 978-0151908851.
- "The British Match Play". Where2Golf. Retrieved April 28, 2019.
- Tremlett, Sam (September 20, 2018). "What Is Match Play?". Golf Monthly. Retrieved April 28, 2019.
- "WGC Andersen Consulting Match Play Championship Media Conference". ASAP Sports. October 19, 1999. Retrieved May 2, 2019.
- Narey, Alex (January 30, 2015). "Remembering the Suntory World Match Play". Golf Monthly. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
- "Tournamaent History". European Tour. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
- "Stricker strikes gold with Match Play title". ESPN. Associated Pres. January 9, 2001. Retrieved May 2, 2019.
- "Official 2018–19 Media Guide – Tournaments". PGA Tour. Retrieved May 2, 2019.
- "WGC-Accenture Match Play final to be reduced to 18-hole match for TV". PGA of America. December 2, 2010. Retrieved May 2, 2019.
- Hoggard, Rex (February 20, 2013). "WGC-Match Play needs to abandon Dove Mountain". Golf Channel. Retrieved May 2, 2019.
- "Cadillac new title sponsor of WGC-Match Play". PGA Tour. September 30, 2014. Retrieved May 2, 2019.
- "WGC-Match Play to move to Austin in 2016". Fox News. Sports Network. May 3, 2015. Retrieved May 2, 2019.
- "Dell Technologies extends sponsorship of WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play". PGA Tour. March 26, 2019. Retrieved May 2, 2019.
- Lavner, Ryan (March 12, 2020). "PGA Tour cancels Players and other events thru April 5th". Golf Channel. Retrieved March 12, 2020.
- Facts and Figures - WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship