The 64 elite players, as identified by the Official World Golf Ranking, will duel head-to-head in five days of nail-biting, single-elimination competition for a US$1.4 million winner’s share of the US$8.5 million prize purse and the sought-after Walter Hagen Cup, named after golf’s greatest match-play competitor.
“We’re delighted that Tiger Woods is returning to defend his title at the Accenture Match Play Championship this year,” said Bill Green, Accenture chairman & CEO. “Tiger epitomizes high performance, and we wish him the very best on his return to competition.”
In addition to having Woods in the field, this year’s tournament is marked by its playing at the new Ritz-Carlton Golf Club course, designed by Jack Nicklaus especially for this event. To enhance gallery viewing and flow, the unique 18-hole match-play championship layout brings spectators closer than ever to the head-to-head competition. The new Accenture Match Play home is situated just down the road from the former site of the previous two competitions, the South Course at The Gallery Golf Club at Dove Mountain.
Tiger Woods captured an unprecedented third Accenture Match Play Championship title in 2008, handily defeating countryman Stewart Cink. Woods’ previous victories were in 2003 and 2004. Last year was the ninth time in the storied history of the Accenture Match Play Championship that an American played in the championship match. The only other countries represented in a final match were Sweden (Henrik Stenson, 2007 and Pierre Fulke, 2001), Northern Ireland (Darren Clarke, 2000) and Australia (Geoff Ogilvy, 2006 and 2007).
The prestigious Accenture Match Play Championship is the cornerstone event of the World Golf Championships, a series of three global golf tournaments that traditionally attracts one of the strongest fields in golf. The match-play format of the Accenture Match Play Championship is unique among the World Golf Championships events and delivers some of the most exciting and compelling golf that fans see all season. The rules of engagement for single-elimination match play are clear and simple: win or go home.
Unlike stroke play, which adds up all strokes from multiple days of play to produce a winner, match play is a hole-by-hole format that rigorously tests a golfer’s skill, strategy and nerves. At the 7,833 yard, par 72 Ritz-Carlton Golf Club layout, players will match each other shot-for-shot and hole-for-hole, culminating in a grueling 36-hole championship match on Sunday, March 1. The world-class players competing must bring their best games and perform at their highest levels for five consecutive days to have a chance of winning the Accenture Match Play Championship.
The Accenture Match Play Championship is further distinguished by four 16-player brackets that were added in 2003. The 64 players are divided into four brackets of 16 players, each named in honor of one of golf’s greatest players: Ben Hogan, Bobby Jones, Gary Player and Sam Snead. Players in each of the brackets are seeded No. 1 through No. 16, with the No. 1 seed playing the No. 16 seed in the first round, No. 2 pairing off with No. 15, No. 3 meeting No. 14 and so forth.
Viewed in more than 140 countries, the Accenture Match Play Championship will be telecast live for a total of 27.5 hours over the five days. In the United States, The Golf Channel will lead off with 12 hours of live coverage Wednesday-Friday, Feb. 25-27 from 2:00 p.m.- 6:00 p.m. (with replays from 8:30 p.m.-11:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday and on Wednesday from 7:30 p.m.–11:30 p.m.) and four hours of live coverage on Saturday, Feb. 28 from 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m., followed by 3.5 hours of coverage on Sunday, March 1 from 10:00 a.m.-1:30 p.m. NBC will provide eight hours of weekend coverage, on Saturday, Feb. 28 from 2:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. and on Sunday, March 1 from 2:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. All times are Eastern Standard (EST).
About The Accenture Match Play Championship
This year marks the 11th playing of the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship. The Accenture Match Play Championship is one of three World Golf Championships sanctioned and organized by the International Federation of PGA Tours, which includes the Asian Tour, European Tour, Japan Golf Tour, PGA TOUR, PGA Tour of Australasia and Southern Africa Tour. The other World Golf Championships are the Bridgestone Invitational and the CA Championship. For more information, please visit www.worldgolfchampionships.com.
Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world’s most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. With more than 186,000 people serving clients in over 120 countries, the company generated net revenues of US$23.39 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2008. Its home page is www.accenture.com.
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