How many times have you or someone you know said, “I can’t watch golf, it’s too boring” ? Well you might not have even heard of The Accenture Match Play Championship, but after this article you will know why it is one of the unique tournaments on the tour.
This week, golf fans were treated to five days of fairways and greens instead of the regular four days. The Accenture Match Play Championship is always one of the most fun tournaments on the PGA Tour circuit to watch. Held in Marana, Arizona at a Jack Nicklaus-designed course, The Golf Club at Dove Mountain, The Accenture is different in many ways.
Last year snow suspended the first round of play; but this year was a completely different story. Sunny and warm, fans and players were treated to prime Arizona desert weather. This always makes for a week of great golf.
This tournament usually brings out the best on tour. Because this is a World Golf Championship event, it includes players from the US, Japan and European Tours. This event is perfect practice for the Ryder Cup in September.
This year Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Adam Scott didn’t make an appearance because of schedule conflicts. We did however see some of the best names on the PGA Tour including Sergio Garcia who has been struggling with his game, Rickie Fowler who is always a crowd favorite and Rory McIlroy whose play has been ordinary.
The large field makes for some interesting pairings. Whether it’s best friends playing against each other, a veteran versus a rookie or even a few international rivalries, the competition will be unlike most PGA Tournaments.
Let’s talk about the competitive aspect of The Accenture. Match play is naturally more competitive than stroke play. The leaderboard is ever changing hole to hole because in match play, the object is to win the hole instead of post the lowest score through 18.
The match can be over before the players reach the 18th hole or can even go into extra holes if the players are tied. This event keeps players and fans at the edge of their seats through every single shot. It is the perfect exhibition of the skills tour players have and how well they perform under pressure.
There is more pressure on each shot of match play than in a regular tournament. If your opponent just sunk a 30-footer for birdie you have to reciprocate, or you lose the hole. Each shot is crucial. Talk about pressure, this year’s purse for the Accenture is $9,000,000.
I commend the PGA Tour for adding tournaments like The Accenture Match Play Championship to the schedule. It keeps fans interested due to its fast pace and competitive nature. This event could appeal to fans of other sports. The Accenture uses a bracket format, similar to what college basketball fans are used to. Also, the competitiveness of this tournament could fill the void of football fans that no longer have NFL on Sundays.
If anyone has his or her doubts about the game of golf, I recommend watching The Accenture Match Play Championship. It has something for everyone and will change your perception of what is now one of the most popular sports in the world.