Golf tournament for the PGA will be moving from San Francisco to Austin in 2016. According to sources at the Associated Press, the chief sponsor of this World Golf Championship (WGC) tournament is Dell, headquartered in Texas, and showcases the top players ranked in the world. This has not been confirmed yet, as Dell and the PGA are still working out the details.
The Match Play would commence on March 23-27, 2016 between the Shell Houston Open week and the Arnold Palmer Invitational week. In 2016, The Masters is April 7-10, which may help golf players from other countries to stay in the United States in the time coming up to the Augusta National.
Austin Country Club, started in 1899, is the venue of choice and before it is official the members at the club need to vote on it. The Country Club revamped the golf course design in 1984.
This particular tournament has changed locations six times since the WGC took over. This tournament has been held in Melbourne, Australia, La Costa, and Tuscon. The current location is San Francisco, April 29-May 3, and Cadillac is the chief sponsor. This tournament is the third one being held at Harding Park, with the other two tournaments being the Presidents Cup in 2009 and the American Express tourney in 2005. The current location this year went through some improvements on the golf course beginning in 2002-2003.
In 2015, this tournament will showcase a new format. In the past it was single elimination, this year the players totaling 64 to start out with will be separated into foursomes, four players on each team, for the beginning three days of the tournament. The golfer from each foursome with the lowest score will move on to the next round of 16 on Saturday morning, the quarterfinals will be in the afternoon on Saturday, the semifinals in the morning on Sunday and the championship to follow. This new format is to help the players on the top to not be scratched from play early, like Woods and McIllroy did in previous years.
This tournament has seen many different dates, from late February to April and some in between. It went from late February to this year being in April. The late dates have not helped bring the golf players from other countries here, as they are starting later in the tournament series. Moving the date to March in 2016 will help the new location bring more players from around the world, as the Match Play is the last tournament for some of the players to secure or improve their game for an invitation to the Masters.
Tom Kite, former pro golfer, stated that the partnership between the PGA and Dell would be great for the fans to witness the game of golf at its best in Austin. This is where Kite and Crenshaw golfed with one another in a two-ball tournament near Austin. Austin seems fitting for the golf tournament to move there in 2016. Austin is a growing city that will draw large crowds to the tournament.
By Michele Enli
Photo by Kay Gaensler – License