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  • Finchem Calls Reports Of Golf's Match Play Championship Moving "Inaccurate"

    Match Play Championships has been played in Arizona since '07

    PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem said speculation the WGC Accenture Match Play Championship is moving from Arizona is "inaccurate," according to Doug Ferguson of the AP. The PGA Tour's contract to host the event at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club in Dove Mountain expired at the conclusion of last weekend's event, but "there is an option for another year." The Tour is "about to enter negotiations on a new television contract," which expires in '12, and Tour execs "have been hammering out various models in recent months and are close to presenting a proposed schedule of events." Finchem said, "It's worked well and we have a good partnership with the people here. The facilities are great. It's just that as we get into television later this year, it forces us to look at the overall calendar and make sure the calendar works." Finchem said that the Tour "would decide on the Match Play venue within three months to give local organizers time to prepare." He added, "Right now, this tournament is at the end of the West Coast, and that appears to be a strong possibility that would continue" (AP, 3/1).

    NOWHERE TO GO? GOLF WORLD's Jim Moriarty notes moving the Match Play Championship is "simply not as easy as it sounds." Assuming the event "stays more or less in its current calendar slot, what are the alternatives?" The weather "wouldn't be good enough" in Las Vegas, and Palm Springs, Calif., does not appear to be an option because the PGA Tour Bob Hope Classic "is already on life support." The Tour also "can't go to Florida" because there already is a WGC event at Doral (GOLF WORLD, 3/7 issue). GOLFWEEK's Jeff Rude wrote, "I get the sense the Tour and players wouldn’t mind moving somewhere else, but there doesn’t appear to be a stronger alternative for 2012 at this point." A "sensible plan starting in 2013 would be to move the Match Play event around to different cities, ones that already have Tour events or ones that don’t." Rude: "After all, the Tour is on record as saying it would like to go into other markets, some of which are starved for a big-time golf tournament" (GOLFWEEK.com, 3/2).

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