Match Play to Move to Tucson Through 2010

By Associated PressFebruary 26, 2006, 5:00 pm
2005 WGC Accenture Match PlayCARLSBAD, Calif. -- The Match Play Championship is moving to the Arizona city that golf left behind eight years ago with an announcement Sunday that Tucson will be home to this World Golf Championship through at least 2010.
 
The tournament will be played at The Gallery Golf Club on the outskirts of Tucson.
 
It features the top 64 players in the world, the kind of field Tucson hasn't seen since the World Golf Championships were created in 1999 and reduced that longtime PGA Tour stop to an opposite-field event.
 
'Tucson has a long and rich history of staging PGA Tour events going back several decades, and we're thrilled that the sports fans in that region of the country will have an opportunity to see this world-class competition,' PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said.
 
The Accenture Match Play Championship had been held at La Costa Resort every year but one since 1999, and the move means the end of elite golf at La Costa since it first held the Tournament of Champions in 1969.
 
Finchem cited weather and another strong tournament in San Diego County - the Buick Invitational at Torrey Pines, which traditionally gets one of the strongest fields all year - as reasons for the move.
 
The course became known as 'Lake La Costa' because it only took a little rain for small rivers to run through the fairways. Perhaps it was only fitting that this year's event has been graced with sunshine all week.
 
For Tucson, it was an amazing turnaround.
 
Chrysler didn't renew as title sponsor, and there were fears it would go away under the PGA Tour's new, tighter schedule starting in 2007. Instead, it got a World Golf Championship that is broadcast around the world.
 
'We go through paranoia every four years,' said Tom Arnold, president of the Tucson Conquistadors, the civic group that runs the PGA Tour event. 'You don't know what's going to happen, who the sponsor is going to be. There are plenty of events on the tour that are going away. We didn't want to be one of them.
 
'This is going to be a home run for us.'
 
The format won't be entirely new for Tucson. Match play slowly vanished from golf's landscape in 1958 when the PGA Championship changed to stroke play, although the PGA Tour experimented with it for two years in Tucson in 1984 and 1985.
 
But it will be the first time in Tucson for players like Tiger Woods and Ernie Els. And it will be a return for Phil Mickelson, who won Tucson as an amateur in 1991 and as a pro in 1995.
 
'This is definitely one of the tournaments that I wasn't happy it became an opposite event,' Jerry Kelly said. 'I'm really happy the Match Play is going to be here so we can come back.'
 
The tournament will be held on the South Course at The Gallery, designed by John Fought.
 
The move means the three WGC events on the 2007 schedule that count toward official money all will be played in the United States. It isn't the first time that has happened, although they are locked in for four years at Tucson, Miami and Firestone in Ohio.
 
Finchem offered no apologies, saying they were more financially viable in the United States.
 
'They're staged at a level that can pay for worldwide television,' he said. 'They're staged at a level that can pay significant prize money. That costs money. The American marketplace is best suited to generate those kind of resources. I think that's why, historically, three of the four major championships are in the United States.'
 
The Accenture Match Play Championship ventured overseas once in eight years, going to Australia in 2001. While the golf course (Metropolitan) was arguably the best of any WGC event, hardly any of the top players went Down Under so close to the holidays, and the tour had to go to No. 104 in the world rankings to fill the field.
 
Related Links:
  • Scoreboard - WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship
  • Full Coverage - WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship
  • Match Play Brackets
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    Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 4:12 pm

    Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.

    Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.

    “I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”

    The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.

    “I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.  

    Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

    This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.

    The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.

    Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.

    The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.


    Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


    A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.

    And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

    The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.


    Masters victory


    Article: Garcia defeats Rose to win Masters playoff

    Article: Finally at peace: Garcia makes major breakthrough

    Article: Garcia redeems career, creates new narrative


    Video: See the putt that made Sergio a major champ


    Green jacket tour

    Article: Take a look at Sergio's crazy, hectic media tour

    Article: Garcia with fiancée, green jacket at Wimbledon

    Article: Watch: Garcia kicks off El Clasico in green jacket


    Man of the people


    Article: SERGIO! Garcia finally gets patrons on his side

    Article: Fan finally caddies for Sergio after asking 206 times

    Article: Sergio donates money for Texas flood relief


    Article: Connelly, Garcia paired years after photo together


    Ace at 17th at Sawgrass


    Growing family

    Article: Sergio, Angela get married; Kenny G plays reception

    Article: Garcia, wife expecting first child in March 2018


    Departure from TaylorMade


    Article: Masters champ Garcia splits with TaylorMade


    Squashed beef with Paddy

    Article: Harrington: Garcia was a 'sore loser'

    Article: Sergio, Padraig had 'great talk,' are 'fine'


    Victory at Valderrama


    Article: Garcia gets first win since Masters at Valderrama

    Getty Images

    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm
    Getty Images

    Montana parents can't watch kids play high school golf

    By Grill Room TeamDecember 11, 2017, 9:47 pm

    Well, this is a one new one.

    According to a report from KTVQ in Montana, this line in the Montana State High School Association rule book all but forbids spectators from observing high school golf in that state:

    “No spectators/fans are allowed on the course except for certain locations as designated by the tournament manager and club professional.”

    Part of the issue, according to the report, is that most courses don't bother to designate those "certain locations" leaving parents unable to watch their kids compete.

    “If you tell a parent that they can’t watch their kid play in the Thanksgiving Day football game, they would riot,” Chris Kelley, a high school golf parent, told KTVQ.

    The report lists illegal outside coaching as one of the rule's chief motivations, but Montana State women's golf coach Brittany Basye doesn't quite buy that.

    “I can go to a softball game and I can sit right behind the pitcher. I can make hand signals,” she is quoted in the report. “I can yell out names. I can do the same thing on a softball field that might affect that kid. Football games we can yell as loud as we want when someone is making a pass or a catch.”

    The MHSA has argued that unlike other sports that are played in a confined area, the sprawling nature of a golf course would make it difficult to hire enough marshals to keep unruly spectators in check.

    Meanwhile, there's a lawyer quoted in the report claiming this is some kind of civil rights issue.

    Worth note, Montana is one of only two states that doesn't allow spectators on the course. The other state, Alaska, does not offer high school golf.