A move that has been expected for months became official Wednesday morning.
The WGC-Match Play Championship will move to TPC Harding Park in San Francisco in 2015, officially ending its stay in Southern Arizona.
Match Play was held in Southern Arizona the past eight years, the first two at The Gallery Golf Club and the past six at Dove Mountain. When this year’s tournament ended, most thought it was the final installment of the event. That thought became even more widely held once Tucson was awarded a Champions Tour event.
Not only is the tournament on the move, but it will also have a new format — something that fans in Southern Arizona had been clamoring for. Instead of a single-elimination format, the 64 golfers will now be broken into 16 groups of four.
After a round-robin format, the 16 winners will advance to the round of 16 over the weekend.
In addition to being awarded Match Play, Harding Park also hit it big by landing two of the PGA Tour’s biggest events.
The 2020 PGA Championship and the 2025 Presidents Cup will also be held in the Bay Area, it was announced Wednesday.
“Today’s announcement marks an exciting chapter in the history of The Presidents Cup and the World Golf Championships,” PGA commissioner Tim Finchem said in a release. “Not only are we returning to TPC Harding Park, which was a spectacular and hugely successful venue for The Presidents Cup 2009 and a World Golf Championships in 2005, but we are also furthering this historic and important partnership with the City and County of San Francisco.
“The Tour’s commitment to Harding Park, now further bolstered by that of the PGA of America bringing the PGA Championship here in 2020, ensures golf’s longstanding legacy in this great city.”
Not only will Match Play have a different location this year, it will also have a different spot on the PGA schedule. The 64-man tournament will be held April 29-May 3.
A title sponsor for the event still hasn’t been announced. Accenture pulled out as the sponsor after last year’s event.
It’s believed a sponsor will be announced before the 2015 event. The new title sponsor will have a say in where the tournament is played starting in 2016.