The WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship could be on its way out of Tucson after next month.

According to a report, Accenture, a global management-consulting company, has told the PGA Tour that next month’s tournament at The Golf Club at Dove Mountain will be the company’s last as the title sponsor.

Golfweek also reported that the tournament could be moved to later in the PGA Tour’s schedule and moved out of Tucson. That will depend on the new sponsor.

Accenture has sponsored the tournament since its inception in 1999. The tournament moved to Tucson in 2007 and spent its first two years at The Gallery.

In 2009, it was moved to Dove Mountain and is preparing for its sixth year at the course.

In an email to the Star, the PGA Tour said a decision on the future of the tournament and its sponsor had not been reached: “Neither the PGA Tour nor Accenture has made any official announcement on the future title sponsorship of the event or its location. We are all placing 100 percent of our energy and focus on putting the best possible tournament together for 2014.”

A few high-profile golfers have already stated their intentions to skip next month’s tournament at Dove Mountain including reigning Master’s champion Adam Scott and reigning U.S. Open champion Justin Rose.

Daniel Berk

  • Playing in the same early group,
  • Sang-Moon Bae
  • and
  • Chris Kirk
  • took the top two spots on the first-round leaderboard Thursday at the Sony Open in Honolulu. Bae played bogey-free for a 7-under 63. Kirk shot 29 on the back nine at Waialae, including an eagle on the last hole, for a 64.
  • Raphael Jacquelin
  • shot a bogey-free 5-under 67 in extremely windy conditions on South Africa’s east coast to take the first-round lead at the Volvo Golf Champions in Durban.

Writer barred after allowing

website to cast Hall ballot

NEW YORK — Dan Le Batard was kicked out of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America for one year and barred from future Hall of Fame votes after the Miami Herald columnist turned over his 2014 ballot to a website that allowed readers to choose. The decision was made Thursday by the BBWAA board of directors, a day after Le Batard said he let cast his ballot.

  • Tigers ace
  • Justin Verlander
  • underwent muscle repair surgery Thursday after injuring himself last month during offseason conditioning. Verlander is expected to need six weeks of rehab before being evaluated again.
  • Top-ranked
  • Rafael Nadal
  • got a challenging draw at the Australian Open, with
  • Andy Murray
  • , and
  • Roger Federer
  • drawn into his half on Friday. Three-time defending champion
  • Novak Djokovic
  • is on the other half with No. 3-ranked
  • David Ferrer
  • .

On the women’s side, top-ranked Serena Williams has 2011 U.S. Open champion Sam Stosur and two-time finalist Li Na in her half. Two-time defending champion Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova are in the opposite half. The major starts Monday.

  • AS Roma coach
  • Rudi Garcia
  • says American midfielder
  • Michael Bradley
  • is on the verge of joining Toronto FC. Italian media report Roma accepted an offer of $9.5 million for Bradley from the MLS club.
  • Gracie Gold
  • took a big step toward an Olympic berth by winning the women’s short program Thursday night at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Boston. Her 72.12 points easily put her ahead of last year’s junior champion,
  • Polina Edwards
  • , and 2010 Olympian
  • Mirai Nagasu
  • .
  • The Arizona Wildcats club hockey team defeated Oklahoma 5-3 at Tucson Convention Center on Thursday. The UA will host Central Oklahoma today and Saturday. Both games start at 7:30 p.m.