Huggan On World Match Play

John Huggan previews the upcoming World Match Play and looks at its past:

None of which should blind us to what was, for long enough, the biggest shortcoming of the tournament. Namely, that the field was shamelessly stacked with clients of the late Mark McCormack's International Management Group. Given that the event was McCormack's brainchild - and pride and joy - this was hardly surprising, but it must be acknowledged that such blatant bias did nothing for the credibility of what could and should have been an even greater event.

Nowadays, things are different. Not only has McCormack gone to the big office in the sky - it's hard not to imagine him up there organising a series of lucrative exhibition matches between Young Tom Morris and Bobby Jones - players qualify for the expanded 16-man field through strict and well-defined criteria. No more does IMG automatically claw back its percentages from every player in the draw.