Do the World Golf Championships excite you?March 26, 2019 The Scoop
Alex Perry and Mark Townsend lock horns in Alternate Shot
The World Golf Championships – love them or leave them? Two of our writers disagree on the so-called biggest tournaments outside the majors…
Yes, bring on more World Golf Championships
The World Golf Championships attract the best fields outside a major – and that is good enough for me, writes Alex Perry.
If I’m staying up until the small hours – or, in the case of the HSBC Champions, climbing out of bed at silly-o’clock in the morning – to watch golf then I want to see the world’s finest going shot for shot down the stretch.
Who can forget Tiger Woods winning in the dark? Or Victor Dubuisson bursting onto the scene in the Match Play? And Justin Rose’s stunning comeback victory over Dustin Johnson will live long in the memory.
Just take a look at the roll call of winners. One or two aside, as is always the case, these are big tournaments won by big tournament players.
The Match Play tends to be the one most people get excited about. It provides something a bit different and is usually pretty good fun, while the first of the World Golf Championships falls right in that part of the calendar where everyone is starting to get mega-excited as the Masters looms.
There is one thing I would change, though. I would like to see them moved around the world – the clue is kind of in the name, after all – but sadly taking it outside the US sacrifices the depth in the field. And having a WGC in October feels a bit odd.
But without the World Golf Championships we basically have 45-odd weeks of the year of regular Tour events. And no one wants that.
No, they don’t capture the imagination
Go on – name the four World Golf Championships, writes Mark Townsend.
That’s right there’s the Match Play. Then there’s the one in winter with the silly publicity stunt at the start of the week in China. Is Bridgestone one or is that part of the FedEx?
So that leaves… the other one. No? It’s the WGC-Mexico Championship. Remember? DJ getting that dodgy drop before going on to win his sixth WGC.
The World Golf Championships are official money events on the European, PGA and Japan Golf Tours but, despite having been around since 1999, you might easily argue that they haven’t really caught on. We all know that Tiger has been cleaning up since day one – he won four of the first seven and has 18 wins in total – but then where are our reference points?
Once upon a time the World Cup was a WGC and so we had a point of difference. Then we are left scrabbling around our brains trying to recall what was going on at Doral a decade ago and wondering why on earth, given that the World Golf Championships are officially sanctioned by the Asian, Sunshine and Australasian Tours, we’re not moving them around the world.
Historically the best thing about the World Golf Championships was day one, day two at a push, of the Match Play when it was a straight knockout. These days, with their 16 (SIXTEEN!) mini groups they have even managed to mess that up.