Dell Match Play to be scrapped; Austin CC calls for too nice for PGA Tour

Relaxation in peace, World Golf Championships.

Golfweek has discovered that this would be the closing 12 months of the WGC Dell Applied sciences Match Play in Austin. Its spot within the 2024 schedule, which is usually in late March on the again finish of the Florida Swing, is anticipated to be stuffed by the Cadence Financial institution Houston Open.

Austin Nation Membership has been the host venue for the Match Play since 2016 when Dell grew to become the title sponsor. On the time, the World Golf Championships had been thought of the highest-ranking tournaments in golf behind the 4 majors and the Gamers Championship, the Tour’s flagship occasion.

Purses for the WGCs, which started in 1999, had been elevated, the fields had been restricted principally to top-ranked gamers, and there have been no-cut occasions. (Tiger Woods gained 18 WGCs with Dustin Johnson capturing the second most with 5.) In 2021, the variety of WGC occasions was diminished by two with the WGC Mexico Open being scaled again to an everyday PGA Tour occasion and the WGC FedEx St. Jude being transformed to the primary leg of the FedEx Cup Playoffs.

2022 World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play

Scottie Scheffler holds the Walter Hagen Cup after defeating Kevin Kisner within the closing of the 2022 World Golf Championships-Dell Applied sciences Match Play at Austin Nation Membership. (Photograph: Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports activities)

The demise of the WGC Match Play technically leaves the WGC HSBC Champions because the final WGC standing however the event, which is contested in China, hasn’t been performed since 2019 resulting from COVID-19. There’s no indication that the event will be capable of be staged this 12 months both, and the LPGA simply canceled a event on Hainan Island in China that was scheduled for March resulting from “ongoing COVID-19 associated issues.”

The Dell Match Play, the place Scottie Scheffler gained to succeed in World No. 1 final spring, is without doubt one of the Tour’s new designated occasions this season. It will likely be contested in March for a tournament-record purse of $20 million, however that can be the identical quantity as 10 elevated tournaments, which has cheapened the WGC model. (Having the vast majority of the occasions staged within the U.S. additionally made the title a misnomer.)

The PGA Tour Participant Advisory Council met final Tuesday on the Farmers Insurance coverage Open and the 2024 Tour schedule was a subject of dialog. Kevin Streelman, who’s a member of the PAC, confirmed that the way forward for the Dell Match Play was on the agenda.

“They talked about that a bit of bit,” Streelman mentioned. “Hopefully they’ll reserve it. It’s a sponsorship challenge.”

“It’s fairly widespread data,” Streelman added, however famous, “there undoubtedly hasn’t been any choice but.”

Nevertheless, a number of sources have advised Golfweek {that a} choice has been made and a high-ranking government that oversees the Tour’s Championship Administration division already advised the employees in Austin to “begin boxing issues up.”

Merchandise from the WGC-Dell Applied sciences Match Play at Austin Nation Membership. (Tim Schmitt/Golfweek)

The Tour despatched Austin Nation Membership a proposal greater than 4 months in the past and ACC pushed again laborious, countering with an exorbitant enhance to its web site charge and ticket calls for for its members. The Tour balked and for a number of months there was no communication between the 2 events. It didn’t assist issues that the membership was break up with a large camp that thought the occasion had run its course there. In keeping with one supply, ACC got here to its senses and tried to re-engage, however the Tour went “radio silent” for 4 months. Two weeks in the past, ACC despatched the Tour an unsolicited proposal agreeing to the Tour’s authentic phrases and to increase the deal by an extra two years.

“I heard it didn’t go properly,” mentioned a PGA event director for an additional occasion, who spoke on the situation of anonymity due to his relationship with each events. “They’re out of there.”

It’s not too typically that the Tour pulls up stakes and leaves a metropolis except a sponsor flees and doing so is the final resort. However a supply says that in August, the Tour turned down Intel, which Dell needed as a associate, to function the presenting sponsor. The chipmaker was able to signal on the dotted line for 5 years for someplace between $5 million to $8 million per 12 months. However the Tour, maybe figuring out that its schedule should evolve to counter the assault of LIV Golf, the upstart league, would solely commit to at least one 12 months. No deal was made.

As beforehand reported by Golfweek, Jim Crane, the billionaire proprietor of the Houston Astros, has been taking part in laborious ball in hopes of getting the Houston cease again into the principle schedule, ideally with a spring date. The CJ Cup, which originated in South Korea in 2017 however has been performed within the U.S. for the reason that pandemic and was held most lately in South Carolina in October, is also itching to improve its dates from the autumn schedule. The Tour has but to launch its schedule for subsequent season however the lack of the WGC Dell Match Play might imply not less than one much less designated occasion in 2024, or its substitute within the schedule could possibly be elevated.

“The Tour just isn’t going to go away from doing a match play,” a event director mentioned. “I wouldn’t be shocked to see it resurface elsewhere.”

However for now, it seems the WGC Match Play is down and operating out of holes.

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