This weekend was the last time a match play style tournament will appear on the PGA Tour for at least, the foreseeable future.
The Dell Technologies Match Play event was part of the World Golf Championship series. With the WGC’s going away, the match play event will be no more.
The PGA Tour is as slow at adapting as baseball. It took a foreign start up league ran by a mad man with a vengeance to shake things up a bit.
But the Tour has now lost a tournament that was different from all the others. And it will need to replace it with something that is similar in nature. There is no other event on tour that is a match play format. The only time you see it at the professional level is in international team events, Ryder Cup and Presidents’ Cup for example.
Match play may not be what we know as a traditional golf event. But it’s sports at its core. Mono-e-mono, straight up, me versus you.
There is an intrigue to match play that is hard to replicate in a typical PGA Tour event field of 150 golfers. It’s the only event where we get to see superstars battle it out one-on-one, loser goes home.
BFF vs BFF
Yesterday you had world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler vs No. 15 Sam Burns in the semi-finals. Burns might be ranked higher if he didn’t get hurt last year. And you can sprinkle in the nugget that the two are close friends. The broadcast only informed us of that every 10 minutes.
But it was two of the games best going shot for shot. And of course, we needed overtime to settle it. But it was compelling viewing for golf fans.
That’s why the PGA Tour needs to replace the match play event with you guessed it… another match play event!
We need more variety on the tour. The standard 72-hole stroke play style tournament is fine and it should be the standard. But adding in that off-beat type of event a few times a year is good and keeps things interesting.
They’re finally adding a mixed event for the PGA and LPGA next year. This has been long overdue. Getting the top men and women golfers in the world on the same course for a weekend is a no brainer concept. Yet it takes years to make happen.
PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan gave some lazy PR answer when asked about future match play events.
“I think for right now, for next season’s schedule, it didn’t work,” Monahan said. “But match play has been a staple out here. It’s been a staple on the DP World Tour. I think that will certainly be a consideration as we go forward.”
Let me translate that for you. It might come back in 10-15 years.
Adding an event to the Tour’s schedule generally takes time. You must find a course that is willing to host it. Then tackle the logistical nightmares out with the city. You have to find an event for this new one to replace. It’s not something that happens at the flick of a pen.
Hopefully the Tour does the right thing and brings a match play event back sooner than later. Adding another typical stroke play event is just a waste of time.
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