Not only is the WGC-Match Play Championship returning in 2015, it’s coming back with a new date, new location and new format.
The event will be played April 27-May 3 at Harding Park in San Francisco, causing a shuffle in the PGA Tour schedule next year. It will – for one year – take the spot on the schedule traditionally held by the Wells Fargo Championship.
Next year, the Wells Fargo Championship will move two weeks later (May 10-17) and will follow the Players Championship. The Wells Fargo Championship will return to its usual first-weekend-in-May date in 2016.
By taking the Match Play to San Francisco, it will mean a one-week West Coast trip for the top 64 players before returning to the East Coast.
The new format also will assure the top players will play at least three days rather than potentially being eliminated after one round. The field will be divided into 16 four-player groups. Each group will play a round-robin competition Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, with the top points earner in each group advancing to a final 16. From there, the tournament will be a straight match-play bracket.
The WGC-Match Play agreement with Harding Park is for one year and no title sponsor has been announced.