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Wednesday
Feb202013

WGC Match Play Day One Snow And The Future In Tucson 

If you'd like to see the crime scene photos from Ritz Carlton Dove Mountain where first day play was suspended, ESPN.com has a few here, or there's JD Cuban's telling shot posted on Golf Digest's Tumblr page.

The images of the second and far more powerful snow storm to hit the place since it's been host should also double for the resort's obituary as site to the WGC Accenture Match Play. The current 1-year contract ends this week.

Not that any players will shed a tear since the place nearly finished last in the Golf World player survey, it's in a remote locale and has never exuded anything other than "soulless modern resort course" on television. Even back in 2008 when Jack Nicklaus and Tim Finchem were envisioning the remote place, it sounded awful.

But before you nominate a replacement, especially in some far off land, you have to understand the PGA Tour has many very strict parameters to it is played at a quality course. They start with what Accenture wants, then move to what Accenture needs and finally, what Accenture wants must also be taken into consideration.

Anyone know what Accenture wants? I still vote for PGA West Stadium. Great match play design, better weather, better crowds, it's not Dove Mountain and it's not Florida.

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Reader Comments (35)

What was wrong with La Costa?
02.20.2013 | Unregistered CommenterChris from DE
I'd vote for Vegas:

- Better weather
- The matchplay is a punter's dream
- The date is far enough away from the Shriner's Open in October

I'm no expert on Vegas courses...but there's another TPC besides Summerlin, no? There must be a suitable venue...that said, not sure what Accenture's appetite would be for relocation to sin city...
02.20.2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlex H
Cypress Point. Resistance to scoring doesn't matter in Match Play, so no one cares whether it is "too short for modern Golf" and since most matches are decided around 15 or 16, it would have the perfect setting for it.
02.20.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRyan
La Costa = zzzzzzzzzzzzz

I would take the tournament to the South.

Better weather, better crowds, and it's not California.
02.20.2013 | Unregistered Commenterfyg
La Costa is horrible AND wet. Even the LPGA left to go to Aviara this year.

PGA West would canibalize the Humana being only about a month apart.

The "south" already has too many tour stops.

TPC Las Vegas (next to TPC Summerlin) is a non-descript course through a residential development and is worse than Dove Mountain.

The main problem is the time of year and the lack of options in the southern part of the US with most other regions already being very well represented by tour stops elsewhere in the year.

Maybe it is time for the PGA Tour to finally embrace international golf and stage an Australasian swing with two events in February with the 2nd stop being a WGC. Also, the Euro tour has essentially abandoned Aus and NZ. And if played at first light, could be primetime in the US.

Otherwise, you will have Dove Mountain for the foreseeable future.
02.20.2013 | Unregistered CommenterAbu Dhabi Golfer
Actually a fan of Dove Mountain, and the scenery is gorgeous. The green complexes is what garners the most criticism, some of it deserved. Wolf Creek would be unbelievable venue for match play, I think it would be a great fit!
02.20.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDouble Bogey
Never understood why PGA West fell out of favor. Course is brutal. And I enjoy watching suffering.
02.20.2013 | Unregistered CommenterThe O
Hoggard reports that the contract goes through 2014, so they won't be moving next year. Maybe the year after.
02.20.2013 | Unregistered CommenterApuleiusPGA
Whats wrong with THE WORLD ?
02.20.2013 | Unregistered CommenterJock
LACC
02.20.2013 | Unregistered Commentergreg c
Kiawah.
02.20.2013 | Unregistered Commenterfyg
Brrr...ay chihuahua!
02.20.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBobby D
A TV requirement that it have a 6:30-ish p.m. Eastern Standard Time finish means that it must be in the southwest for a February event. Given that the other major population areas already have a PGA Tour event, the only real alternative to Tucson is Las Vegas. Outside the box thinking might lead to Mexico City or Cabo, but that is unlikely given how the tour has historically shunned Mexico except for events that are opposite WGC events.

I think Vegas would be the logical place to go, especially given how the tournament lends itself to gambling. Wasn't the old Las Vegas Invitational played at about this time of the year? Maybe the Vegas event and the Tucson event can trade places on the schedule.
02.20.2013 | Unregistered CommenterKS
Geoff, you site the players not liking Dove Mountain, yet the advocate for PGA West, which is listed as a least favorite on the same link you posted re: Dove Mt.

I think Kiawah would be a fantastic match play site.
02.20.2013 | Unregistered CommenterJeremy
Shadow Creek in Vegas might peak Accenture's interest...
02.20.2013 | Unregistered CommenterMr. Columbia
Maybe Wynn Las Vegas? It's right on the strip and I'm sure Mr. Wynn would love the TV exposure. I haven't seen the place myself. I'm sure the architecture is just as gaudy as the rest of the city, but it fits the bill for an event built for gambling. This is a slow time of the year in Vegas, no?
02.20.2013 | Unregistered CommenterKS
@KS.... The Wynn course doesn't have a driving range. The full swing warm up area has mats to hit off of into a net.
02.20.2013 | Unregistered CommenterOWGR Fan
At least the desert is really beautiful with snow. Certainly much more interesting and varied to look at than most golf broadcasts.
02.20.2013 | Unregistered CommenterJim S
Streamsong. Bandon.
02.20.2013 | Unregistered CommenterJRP
PGA West is a great course. However, the tour already makes a stop in the neighborhood for the Clinton Initiative. For the Tour to build some excitement and some action for World Cup Match Play - Vegas, Baby, Vegas!
02.20.2013 | Unregistered CommenterStevie
Vegas this time of year is often colder than Tucson
02.20.2013 | Unregistered CommenterJm
Jeremy,
Different PGA West Course. Stadium in the Pete Dye course they all hated when the Hope was played there, but it's been softened in spots and the guys hit it about 50 yards longer than they did then.

Vegas would be fantastic visually and as a market but Commissioner Monk is frightened to death of the gambling culture and the weather there can be so fickle, especially with unrelenting winds.

As for extended to 2014 at Dove Mountain, there has been no announcement on that so either Hoggard knows something we don't or has it wrong.
02.20.2013 | Registered CommenterGeoff
Definitely Streamsong one the hotel is built.
02.20.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBob
PGA West Stadium is a no-brainer, but if it conflicts with the Humana, then I'd suggest TPC Sawgrass, in the Players' old slot. Name one course in the US other than Augusta that's better suited for match play! Doral can then move back to its usual apot as the start of the Florida swing.
02.20.2013 | Unregistered CommenterHawkeye
I've been to the tournament in Marana and seen the previous and current courses they use. The current course had all the greens redone after one playing because the players complained so much. They are still too severe. The old adage that Nickalus built cousrses that Trevino couldn't beat him on is here on steroids. Each green is subdivided so every shot must come in very high and soft. If you miss that shot recovery is arbitrary because all pitches and bunker shots also favor height. That is fine unless you have cold or wind, which at 2700 ft. in February on alluvial fans from a Desert mountainside in AZ is pretty likely. No wonder Zach Johnson can't get out of the first round here.

From a fan experience it is the best because the tickets are limited and you can see the players up close. There is no other event I know of where you can watch a major champion play a shot with only 50 other people watching. The 11-13 loop on this course has par 5, par 3 and par 5 and almost every match has holes won or lost with big risk reward shots. Tucson would support the event more if it were in Tucson. The trouble is few courses there are long enough to challenge the new equipment (ie. golf ball)

They need to move the match play around the world. As for weather delays a snow day is not as bad as a rain soaked slog like La Costa was. Tucson drains better.
02.21.2013 | Unregistered Commentermunihack
My vote to move this WGC is outside the USA to Mexico's Cabo del Sol Ocean Course, a World Top 100. No snow or cold there in Mid February yet conveniently located to the West Coast.

The weather in Vegas at this time of year is no better than Tucson- could be great or not so great. Rain can happen in CA at this time of year too.

I'd lobby Accenture hard for Cabo.
02.21.2013 | Unregistered CommenterSteven T.
Ditto for Cabo. Great in so many ways: Golf, Hotels, Climate, Restaurants, and also low crime (at the end of a 1000 mile, two lane cul de sac).
02.21.2013 | Unregistered CommenterJJ
I am voting for stream song.
Florida
Doak
Coore & Crenshaw
What could be better
02.21.2013 | Unregistered CommenterTom weber
Cabo sounds like a great choice!

I miss La Costa though.
02.21.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDavid
Cabo
02.21.2013 | Unregistered CommenterPaboy
Don't see any reason to move.
Today (Thursday) is a brand new day and play is scheduled to resume at 10:30...12:30...1:30...2:00...2:30...3:00 (all time EST).
02.21.2013 | Unregistered Commenterdbh
Cabo has security issues.
02.21.2013 | Unregistered CommenterThe O
The course does look rather un-fun to play on TV....some tight landing areas coupled with buried elephants near the greens.


Maybe a move to a course in Death Valley in in order...think of the marketing possibilities folks!!!
02.21.2013 | Unregistered Commenterjohnnnycz
Where would everyone stay if the event went to Streamsong?

The Streamsong owner, Mosaic (NYSE - MOS) could afford to sponsor the event if need be!!
02.21.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
Im posting this from Cabo on vacation...just played cabo del sol 2 days ago....lacosta is a tougher course
Aside from the scenic views at CDS, Lacosta is a tougher challenge for tour players. The course isnt long enough either.
I played Lacosta in November and loved it, I know there were previous issues with the course but if they were addressed, it still is a very good course. Not too far from Lacosta and a good option would be Barona Creek. The web.com used it back in 07 or 08 for the tour championship.
02.24.2013 | Unregistered CommenterAdam S

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