09/30/2014

No longer is it the WGC-Accenture Match Play but now, the WGC-Cadillac Match Play. Cadillac has stepped in as the sponsor for the conglomeration of the world’s best golfers in the match play format. It is another change in the event which needed a jump start, some invigoration.

Formerly hosted in the Arizona desert in February, the event is now a late-April tournament (April 27–May 3) in California at TPC Harding Park. It will be the first event hosted by TPC Harding Park since 2005, when Tiger Woods outlasted John Daly in a three-hole playoff in the WGC-American Express Championship. The venue also hosted the 2009 Presidents Cup.

TPC Hardign P

TPC Hardign P

“I’m not so sure I like (that date) for that event (the WGC-Match Play), “ PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said earlier this month at the Tour Championship. “I’m not so sure it’s the best thing for the Match Play. It’s a venue issue as well. You can’t get too far down the road with that because sponsors like to have a voice in that.”

Cadillac will only sponsor the event for one-year before committing long-term.

Already the sponsor of the WGC-Cadillac Championship hosted by Doral’s Blue Monster, Cadillac’s expansion of sponsorship symbolizes a desire for stabilization for PGA Tour golf. Cadillac’s demographic is a largely golf-centric group and their hold on PGA Tour events is a partnership which makes sense. Cadillac has been a traditional sponsor for years on Tour.

In the 2015 event, instead of a 64-player, “March Madness Style” bracket, the 64 players in the field will be divided into 16 different pools (i.e. Pool play in the World Cup), with each pool featuring 4 players. Golfers will play round-robin matches within their pool to earn their way into the 16-player championship bracket.

It should bode for some exciting match-play golf in lieu of this week’s Ryder Cup.