WGC-Match Play – The New Format Is A Success


The first day of the WGC-Cadillac Match Play Championship isn’t even over yet, and I already love the new format, and it has shot some new life into this tournament.  Every year I would get so excited for this week, I’d see the names in the field and get pumped about the Wenesday start.  Then Thursday comes around and 32 of those players are gone, and roughly 10 of them are big names.  By the first evening the tournament has lost all of its juice.

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The changes to this year’s tournament in my eyes are already a slamming success.  If it weren’t for the new format guys like Jason Day, Henrik Stenson, Jimmy Walker & Ian Poulter would all be going home.  Now they will be returning to the golf course in somewhat desperation mode, and that’s what makes this really cool.

So far the players are fans of the changes as well.  Jim Furyk is two weeks removed from a victory at Hilton Head and he got off to a good start on Wenesday with a victory over Geore Coetzee.  He may not have to go back to the drawing board and play with desperation on Thursday, but he’s a fan of the format.

"“I think I like it I still want to see it play out, but I see a lot a lot of positives.  Great for the fans to get to see at least three days of matches and then great for T.V. as well.  From everyone’s perspective it’s got to be a win for everyone.” (Credit Golf Channel)"

 Jordan Spieth also doesn’t have to worry about shaking off a day one loss, as The Masters champ opened things up with a 4 & 2 victory over Mikko Ilonen in the first round.  The young Texan loves playing in match play and a surprise to few, thrives on it as well.  He talked about this prior to his win today.

"“This format is cool I wished we played some more match play..You try and obviously pick a strategy to birdie each hole but that changes throughout the round depending where you are against the person. You don’t really care about watching the leaderboards except I guess for Friday where there can be some scoreboard watching. I enjoy it, I think it’s really cool to play against the best players in the world in this format” (Credit PGATour.com)"

The pressure may not be completely on Spieth’s shoulders tomorrow, but then again when you’re the current Masters champ the microscope is always on you.  Guys like Day and Stenson have had a good year and good careers, but they need this extra pressure.  Both are looking to get over that major hump, and now will have to fight back from day one deficits to stay in this tournament, and that will only help them.  It’s impossible to replicate major pressure, but this format definitely helps the mental game to get ready for golf’s biggest events.  So with that in mind I’ll take the early returns and run with them.    The “new” WGC-Cadillac Match Play is going to be a success.

Next: Match Play Vs. Stroke Play

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