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Match Play could be headed overseas

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MARANA, Ariz. – Forget possible upsets and bracket busting, the question du jour at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship was what is next for the PGA Tour’s lone mano-a-mano tilt?

Accenture is out after this year as is Dove Mountain, according to various sources, although one official said there could be a last-minute reprieve for the isolated course, so the future of the event has been a hot topic.

“I guess I’m more concerned with where we’re going and what course we’re playing,” Jim Furyk said.

Depending on whom one asks, the Match Play could be moving to Harding Park in San Francisco, which is a TPC facility; Florida or Bogota, Colombia, among other possible venues.

As for a potential replacement sponsor, according to one source the number of corporations that have a marketing budget deep enough to sign on with the Match Play is limited to about a dozen companies in the United States, which may make sending the World Golf Championship overseas a necessity if not a viable option.

PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem is scheduled to make an announcement and hold a news conference on Sunday at Dove Mountain, but it doesn’t appear there will be many answers.

One Match Play change, however, seems likely according to one member of the player advisory council. A format change has been discussed in recent meetings that would include 36 holes of stroke-play qualifying followed by a cut, to either 32 or 16 players, and an all-match-play conclusion.

“I could easily see that change,” said the PAC member.