From 2024 there will be no matchplay event on the PGA Tour and there are currently no such events on the DP World Tour or Asian Tour.
Jordan Uppleger, the tournament director of the WGC-Dell Match Play, announced that this month’s event at Austin Country Club would mark the last.
“We’re formally announcing today that the 2023 World Golf Championship Dell Technologies matchplay will be the final playing of the event here at Austin Country Club, and not be included on the 2024 calendar or moving forward,” Uppleger said.
The historical challenge of matchplay for the professional golf industry is that the leading players are not always in contention, or even present, in the latter stages of the event, with the round robin format not always compensating for this. The demands of both sponsors and television have not always been satisfied, let alone the golf fan.
A day later during his press conference at TPC Sawgrass, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan reiterated as much, but he didn’t rule out the addition of a matchplay event in the future.
“I think for right now, for next season’s schedule, it didn’t work,” Monahan said. “But match play has been a staple out here. It’s been a staple on the DP World Tour. I think that will certainly be a consideration as we go forward.”
With the matchplay going away, that leaves the WGC-HSBC Champions in China as the only WGC event that the Tour is contracted to, though with that tournament being cancelled each of the past three seasons because of the pandemic, Monahan said, “It’s difficult to foresee when we would play.”
That obviously begs the question: Have the WGCs run their course?
The designated event model mostly mirrors that of the WGCs with its limited fields, guaranteed points and money, and no cuts. The only notable differences are the amount of tournaments (eight designated events compared to what once was four WGCs) and the qualification criteria.
“I would never say anything has run its course,” Monahan said, “but I think right now, you see the direction the PGA Tour’s heading in; it is with these designated events, it’s with the concentration of the best players on the PGA Tour competing in them, and I really don’t expect that to change as we go forward.”
Looking at the future, we may have to look at just the Ryder Cup, Presidents Cup or Solheim Cup for our matchplay fix along with amateur golf.