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Finchem turns down Spieth's stroke-play suggestion

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PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem won’t be adopting Jordan Spieth’s stroke-play suggestion any time soon.

The Masters champion and world No. 2 failed to advance to the weekend at TPC Harding Park despite playing some of the week’s best golf. He finished his three pool-play matches a combined 15 under but went only 2-1, losing to quarterfinalist Lee Westwood on Friday.

No doubt frustrated, Spieth took to Twitter to offer his thoughts on further tweaking the reworked Match Play setup, writing: "In my opinion.. If change in format was wanted/needed.. Makes sense to do stroke play first 3 rounds then top 16 into bracket. Agree?"

Speaking with Dan Hicks and Johnny Miller on the NBC telecast Sunday, Finchem, without naming Spieth, rejected the idea.

“[The new format] is accomplishing what we want to do, which is to give our fans three days of the top 64 players in the world instead of losing half of them on Wednesday,” he said. 

“I think tweaking it a little bit is possible. We’ve had some ideas this week. But I don’t think we want to move away from match play. I understand the thinking of 54 holes of medal play, but I think we want to keep this week – it’s a unique week – keep it match play.”

Regardless of what happens with the format, the Match Play will have a new date, in March, a new home, Austin Country Club in Texas, and a new title sponsor, Dell, starting next year.

“It’s a spectacular place,” Finchem said. “And it’s got a lot of history. … We had a meeting with the members there to talk about whether they would want [the event]. I think 600 members came and they voted 92 percent in favor of it, so there’s a lot of enthusiasm.

“Austin is the fastest growing city in the country. It’s young, it’s hip, it’s high-tech. Our young players are looking forward to it. I think it’s going to be really good next March.”