The FINANCIAL — On one of golf’s biggest stages, 64 elite players, as identified by the Official World Golf Ranking, will compete at the 14th World Golf Championships -Accenture Match Play Championship in a five-day single-elimination competition, Feb. 22-26.
The championship will be held at the Jack Nicklaus-designed Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Dove Mountain course.
According to Accenture, the winner will take home US$1.4 million of a total prize purse of US$8.5 million, as well as the sought-after Walter Hagen Cup, named for golf’s greatest match-play competitor.
For the first time, spectators this year will take part in a new match-play experience called “Follow the Leaders” that will provide them with an enhanced view of the tournament by walking the fairways and viewing the greens from the player’s perspective. All Sunday ticket holders will be invited to follow the players down each fairway until a champion is decided.
The prestigious Accenture Match Play Championship is the cornerstone event of the World Golf Championships. It traditionally attracts one of the strongest fields in golf, and it serves as the first tournament of the season in a series of four global golf tournaments. The match-play format of the Accenture Match Play Championship is unique among the World Golf Championships events and delivers some of the most exciting and compelling golf that fans see all season.
The rules of engagement for single-elimination match play are clear and simple: win or go home. Unlike stroke play, which adds up all strokes from multiple days of play to produce a winner, match play is a hole-by-hole format that rigorously tests a golfer’s skill, strategy and nerves. Players will match each other shot for shot and hole for hole on the 7,833-yard, par-72 course, culminating in a championship match on Sunday, February 26.
The Accenture Match Play Championship is further distinguished by four 16-player brackets, introduced in 2003. The 64 players are divided into four brackets of 16 players, each named in honor of one of golf’s greatest players: Ben Hogan, Bobby Jones, Gary Player and Sam Snead. Players in each of the brackets are seeded No. 1 through No. 16, with the No. 1 seed playing the No. 16 seed in the first round, No. 2 pairing off with No. 15, No. 3 meeting No. 14, and so forth.
The Accenture Match Play Championship will be telecast live for a total of 28 hours over the five days of the tournament and can be seen on television in 224 countries. In the United States, Golf Channel will lead off with 20 hours of live coverage on Wednesday, Feb. 22 from noon to 6 PM and continue on Thursday and Friday, Feb. 23 and 24 from 2 PM to 6 PM; on Saturday, Feb. 25 from noon to 2 PM and on Sunday, Feb. 26 from 9 AM to 1 PM. Additionally, NBC will provide eight hours of weekend coverage, on Saturday, Feb. 25 from 2 PM to 6 PM and on Sunday, Feb 26 from 2 PM to 6 PM.