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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    Woods, Rahm, Rickie, J-Day headline Torrey field

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 20, 2018, 12:47 am

    Tiger Woods is set to make his 2018 debut.

    Woods is still part of the final field list for next week’s Farmers Insurance Open, the headliner of a tournament that includes defending champion Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson and Jason Day.

    In all, 12 of the top 26 players in the world are teeing it up at Torrey Pines.

    Though Woods has won eight times at Torrey Pines, he hasn’t broken 71 in his past seven rounds there and hasn’t played all four rounds since 2013, when he won. Last year he missed the cut after rounds of 76-72, then lasted just one round in Dubai before he withdrew with back spasms.

    After a fourth back surgery, Woods didn’t return to competition until last month’s Hero World Challenge, where he tied for ninth. 

    Woods has committed to play both the Farmers Insurance Open and next month's Genesis Open at Riviera, which benefits his foundation. 

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    Even on 'off' day, Rahm shoots 67 at CareerBuilder

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 20, 2018, 12:36 am

    Jon Rahm didn’t strike the ball as purely Friday as he did during his opening round at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    He still managed a 5-under 67 that put him just one shot off the lead heading into the weekend.

    “I expected myself to go to the range (this morning) and keep flushing everything like I did yesterday,” said Rahm, who shot a career-low 62 at La Quinta on Thursday. “Everything was just a little bit off. It was just one of those days.”


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    After going bogey-free on Thursday, Rahm mixed four birdies and two bogeys over his opening six holes. He managed to settle down around the turn, then made two birdies on his final three holes to move within one shot of Andrew Landry (65).

    Rahm has missed only five greens through two rounds and sits at 15-under 129. 

    The 23-year-old Spaniard won in Dubai to end the year and opened 2018 with a runner-up finish at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. He needs a top-6 finish or better this week to supplant Jordan Spieth as the No. 2 player in the world.

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    Landry stays hot, leads desert shootout at CareerBuilder

    By Associated PressJanuary 20, 2018, 12:35 am

    LA QUINTA, Calif. – Andrew Landry topped the crowded CareerBuilder Challenge leaderboard after another low-scoring day in the sunny Coachella Valley.

    Landry shot a 7-under 65 on Thursday on PGA West's Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course to reach 16 under. He opened with a 63 on Thursday at La Quinta Country Club.

    Jon Rahm, the first-round leader after a 62 at La Quinta, was a stroke back. He had two early bogeys in a 67 on the Nicklaus layout.


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    Jason Kokrak was 14 under after a 67 at Nicklaus. Two-time major champion Zach Johnson was 13 under along with Michael Kim and Martin Piller. Johnson had a 64 at Nicklaus.

    Landry, Rahm, Kokrak and Johnson will finish the rotation Saturday at PGA West's Stadium Course, also the site of the final round.

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    Mickelson 'displeased' with iron play; 10 back

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 20, 2018, 12:18 am

    All of Phil Mickelson’s offseason work on his driver has paid off through two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    His iron play? Not as sharp, and it’s the reason why he heads into the weekend 10 shots off the lead.

    “I’ve been pretty pleased, overall, with the way I’ve been driving the ball, and very displeased with the way my iron game has been,” said Mickelson, who shot 68 Friday on PGA West’s Nicklaus course. He has hit only 21 of 36 greens so far this week. “Usually my iron play is a lot better than what it’s been. So I’ll go work on it and hopefully improve each round in this tournament and build a solid foundation for the upcoming West Coast events.


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    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    “I feel like if I continue to drive the ball the way I am, and if I got my iron play back to my normal standard, I should have the results that I’ve been expecting.”

    Mickelson, of course, is always bullish this time of year, but he has been able to find 10 of 14 fairways each of the past two rounds, including at narrower La Quinta Country Club, which doesn’t always fit his eye.

    “This is actually the best I’ve driven it in a lot of years,” he said.

    Currently in a tie for 67th, Mickelson will need a solid round on the more difficult Stadium course Saturday to ensure that he makes the 54-hole cut. He hasn’t missed a cut in his first West Coast event of the new year since 2009.