Golf's Match Play gets World Cup look


The Sports Network

San Francisco, CA ( - Golf's Match Play Championship is getting a World Cup look.

Like the soccer tournament currently playing out in Brazil, which has drawn record TV ratings in the United States, next year's event will feature group play and a knockout stage.

"It's kind of nice that we're able to talk about (the format change) in the context of everybody in the United States being riveted to that format over the last month," PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem acknowledged Wednesday.

The World Golf Championships event will move to San Francisco's TPC Harding Park after an eight-year run in Arizona and will be played the week before The Players Championship.

The top 64 players in the world will be broken down into 16 groups of four instead of the former bracket-style format, when the top-ranked player would face No. 64 and so on.

The winner of each group will move into the knockout stage until there are two left standing for the final.

"It's a lot more golf," Finchem explained. "There are going to be 96 matches for fans here to go out and watch on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. It is a ton of golf, and one of the reasons we wanted to come here (to Harding Park), because we know the fans here will relish the opportunity to have that much golf."

Harding Park will also get its second Presidents Cup in 2025 after hosting in 2009. The municipal course will host its first PGA Championship in 2020.

Jason Day won this year's Match Play Championship in February, beating Victor Dubuisson 1-up in a 23-hole final.

The tournament's move to the week before the Players Championship will bump the event that normally occupies that spot on the schedule, the Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte, North Carolina, to the week after the Players.

Read more Golf stories from the Miami Herald

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category