Match Play Competitiveness & Unpredictability Gains With Players and Spectators
CARLSBAD, Calif. – The unpredictable nature of match play added significantly to the drama of this year’s World Golf Championships cornerstone event.
The 2002 Accenture Match Play Championship winner, Kevin Sutherland, had to get past 2001 British Open Champion David Duval, 2001 PGA Champion David Toms, and three other top-ranked players including Ryder Cup member Jim Furyk before taking on his high school rival, Scott McCarron, in the 36-hole championship match.
Sutherland did not take the lead until after the 33rd hole, holding on for a 1-up victory and earning the $1 million first-place prize along with the coveted Walter Hagen Cup, named after one of the game’s great match play competitors. The Accenture Match Play Championship was Sutherland’s first PGA TOUR win.
The 2002 Accenture Match Play Championship saw one of the strongest 64-man fields in the history of the event gather at La Costa Resort and Spa, Feb. 20 – 24. Eighteen of the participating players had won a combined 31 major golf championships, which is comprised of the Masters, the U.S. Open Championship, the British Open and the PGA Championship.
The Accenture Match Play Championship is one of the most widely viewed golf events in the world. The event was televised to more than 140 countries.
In its short four-year history, the Accenture Match Play Championship has become one of golf’s most exciting tournaments. Players and spectators agree that the event has gained a reputation for highly entertaining, competitive matches while at the same time often producing surprising results. Such was the case in 2002 when several of the top seeds fell by the wayside in early rounds. “ That’s just the nature of match play,” said the world’s number-one ranked player, Tiger Woods.
And according to Joe W. Forehand, Accenture chairman and CEO, the event fits perfectly with the company’s efforts to continue building its global brand. “Accenture will extend its relationship with the PGA TOUR through 2006 as the title sponsor of the Accenture Match Play Championship," Forehand told the media during the event. "We are delighted to be part of global golf and to bring it alive for audiences worldwide. It fits with who we are and what we do everyday.”
Commenting further on how the match play format very closely mirrors an every day business environment, Forehand said, “Playing every match at your best is a real challenge. In match play or in business, if you’re not at the top of your game, you lose. There are no off-days. Every day, just like every match, is important and is filled with unknowns requiring a commitment to perform consistently at the highest level.”
The Accenture Match Play Championship is truly a global golf event, with players representing 17 countries this year.
About the Accenture Match Play Championship
The first two editions of the Accenture Match Play Championship were played at the La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad, California, USA, where the event returned this year. Jeff Maggert won the inaugural tournament in 1999, defeating Andrew Magee. Northern Ireland’s Darren Clarke defeated Tiger Woods in the championship match of the 2000 tournament. In 2001, Steve Stricker won the third Accenture Match Play Championship, defeating Sweden’s Pierre Fulke at The Metropolitan Club in Melbourne, Australia.
The World Golf Championships are sanctioned and organized by the International Federation of PGA Tours, which includes the Asian PGA, European Tour, Japan Golf Tour, PGA TOUR, PGA Tour of Australasia and Southern Africa Tour. In March 2000 the Canadian Tour was named an Associate Member of the Federation.
The 2002 Accenture Match Play Championship was the first of four World Golf Championships played this year. Following the Accenture Match Play Championship, the NEC Invitational will be played Aug. 20-25 at Sahalee Country Club in Sammamish, Wash., USA; The American Express Championship will be held Sept. 17-22 at Mt. Juliet Estate in Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny, Ireland; and the EMC World Cup will be played Dec. 10-15 at Vista Vallarta in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
Accenture is the world’s leading management and technology services organization. Through its network of businesses approach – in which the company enhances its consulting and outsourcing expertise through alliances, affiliated companies and other capabilities – Accenture delivers innovations that help clients across all industries quickly realize their visions. With more than 75,000 people in 47 countries, the company generated net revenues of $11.44 billion for the fiscal year ended August 31, 2001. Its home page is www.accenture.com.