World’s Best Golfers to Compete in Accenture Match Play Championship Feb. 25 - March 1 at the New Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Dove Mountain, Outside Tucson, Arizona
2009 venue planned with World Golf Championships in mind
MARANA, Ariz. – The world’s best golfers will gather for the 11th playing of the World Golf Championships (WGC) – Accenture Match Play Championship Feb. 25 - March 1 at the Jack Nicklaus-designed 27-hole course at the new Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Dove Mountain, outside Tucson, Arizona.
The 64 elite players, as identified by the Official World Golf Ranking, will duel head-to-head in five days of nail-biting, single-elimination competition for a US$1.4 million winner’s share of the US$8.5 million prize purse and the sought-after Walter Hagen Cup, named after golf’s greatest match-play competitor.
To enhance gallery viewing and flow, the unique 18-hole match-play layout uses two sets of specially selected nine holes, allowing the gallery to see more than one hole at a time, bringing spectators closer than ever to the head-to-head competition. The new Accenture Match Play home is situated just down the road from the former site of the previous two competitions, the South Course at The Gallery Golf Club at Dove Mountain.
Tiger Woods captured an unprecedented third Accenture Match Play Championship title in 2008, handily defeating countryman Stewart Cink. Woods’ previous victories were in 2003 and 2004. Last year was the ninth time in the storied history of the Accenture Match Play Championship that there has been an American in the championship match. The only other countries represented in a final match were Sweden (Henrik Stenson, 2007 and Pierre Fulke, 2001), Northern Ireland (Darren Clarke, 2000) and Australia (Geoff Ogilvy, 2006 and 2007).
The prestigious Accenture Match Play Championship is the cornerstone event of the World Golf Championships, a series of three global golf tournaments that traditionally attracts one of the strongest fields in golf. 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. At the 7,833 yard, par 72 Ritz-Carlton Golf Club layout, players will match each other shot-for-shot and hole-for-hole, culminating in a grueling 36-hole championship match on Sunday, March 1. The world-class players competing must bring their best games and perform at their highest levels for five consecutive days to have a chance of winning the Accenture Match Play Championship.
The Accenture Match Play Championship is further distinguished by four 16-player brackets that were added 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.
Viewed in more than 140 countries, the Accenture Match Play Championship will be telecast live for a total of 27.5 hours over the five days. In the United States, The Golf Channel will lead off with 12 hours of live coverage Wednesday-Friday, Feb. 25-27 from 2:00 p.m.- 6:00 p.m. (with replays from 8:30 p.m.-11:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday and on Wednesday from 7:30 p.m.–11:30 p.m.) and four hours of live coverage on Saturday, Feb. 28 from 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m., followed by 3.5 hours of coverage on Sunday, March 1 from 10:00 a.m.-1:30 p.m. NBC will provide eight hours of weekend coverage, on Saturday, Feb. 28 from 2:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. and on Sunday, March 1 from 2:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. All times are Eastern Standard (EST).
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