Is this the final nail in the coffin for the World Golf Championships?
The popular Match Play event will not be on the PGA Tour calendar from next year, according to a report
They’ve been the highest-ranking PGA Tour events behind the four majors and Players Championship since 1999, but it looks like this will be the World Golf Championships’ last season on the calendar.
According to a report from Golfweek, this year’s WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play – which has been held in Austin since the technology giant began sponsoring the event in 2016 – will be the last.
Its spot on the 2024 schedule is to be taken by the Houston Open.
The reason, the report claims, is a sponsorship issue, with Dell keen to team up with Intel for a five-year deal. But the PGA Tour, keen to counter LIV Golf’s huge purses, only wanted to sign for one.
The PGA Tour Player Advisory Council met at the Farmers Insurance Open in January, and the Match Play was an agenda item, but no decision was made.
The three original World Golf Championships – the Match Play, the Invitational and the Championship – began in 1999 with limited fields, no cuts, and elevated prize pots.
The World Cup was considered a WGC from 2000 to 2007, before it was replaced by the Champions – which was held in China – from 2009 onwards.
With the Championship being downgraded to a regular PGA Tour event and the Invitational becoming part of the season-ending FedEx Cup Playoff events, the Champions is now technically the last tournament standing – but even that hasn’t been played since 2019 due to the country’s strict Covid regulations.
Tiger Woods holds the record for the most WGC titles with 18 – which includes eight Invitational wins, seven Championship wins, and three Match Play wins.
Dustin Johnson is second on the list with six – though he is also the only player to win all four.
Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy and Geoff Ogilvy all have three, while 11 players – Justin Thomas, Patrick Reed, Adam Scott, Ernie Els, Ian Poulter, Justin Rose, Darren Clarke, Hideki Matsuyama, Bubba Watson, Jason Day and Hunter Mahan – have two apiece.
One thing’s for sure, the loss of the popular Match Play will hurt players and fans the most.
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