Andersen Consulting Match Play Championship
andersen consulting match play championship
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Event Features
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Matchplay.Interesting ?
Maggert wins dramatic final
Maggert and Magee survive to reach final
Notes from Saturday
Notes from Friday
Matchplay creating player pressure
Maruyama - the smiling assassin
Notes from Thursday
Norman backfires again
Dream team final one step closer
Notes from Wednesday
Monty suffers from crowd and Stadler
Who are the favourites
Norman sees vision arrive
Seedings count for nothing in golf
Tiger leaves Fluff at home
O'Meara the man for matchplay ?
Faldo looking for quick fix
Golf fever starting early this year
Faldo not worried about Woods

Matchplay - The leveller

Does TV need marquee names for the weekend ?
Faldo vs Woods - a dream pairing
Faldo holds on to 65th spot

When: February 24-28 (3rd round and quarterfinals on February 26).

Venue: La Costa Resort and Spa.

Format: Single-elimination match play for 18 holes. Championship match scheduled for 36 holes.

Qualifications: Top 64 in the Official World Golf Ranking as of Feb. 15. Alternates also based on ranking. Field will be final at 8 p.m. February 22..

Top four seeds: Tiger Woods, David Duval, Mark O'Meara, Davis Love III.

Key pairings: Tiger Woods vs. Nick Faldo, Craig Stadler vs. Colin Montgomerie, Ernie Els vs. Paul Azinger, Greg Norman vs. John Cook.

Quote: ``He's the guy to beat -- not Greg Norman, not Ernie Els, not anyone. Tiger Woods would have to be licking his chops when he gets to La Costa." -- Fred Couples.

Event Overview

Of all the World Golf Championship events, the Andersen Consulting Match Play Championship at La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad, Calif., could be the most interesting.

Sixty-four of the best players in the world will go head-to-head in a Matchplay format. From 32 first-round matches, the field will be reduced to the Championship Match, which will be played over 36 holes.

Fans will have the opportunity to witness the kind of matchups normally reserved for hypothetical arguments.

"When I first heard about the event, I was very excited," said PGA Tour player Justin Leonard. "From a playerís standpoint, there is nothing more exciting than match play. Going head-to-head with a person for 18 or 36 holes -- itís funny because you can play well and lose, and you can play poorly and win. There are the little nuances of the game.

"Itís a different type of excitement. If you want to see your favourite two players play against each other, thereís a great chance of that happening. Youíre going to have so many different kind of players and matches going on that thereís going to be something for everybody."

This is not Andersen Consultingís first venture into match play. In 1994, the company sponsored the Andersen Consulting World Championship of Golf. Fan interest increased over the next three years, and it was a natural fit for the event to expand and evolve into a World Golf Championship event.

In March of 1996 five of the worldís leading professional golf organisations -- the PGA Tour, PGA Tour of Japan, European PGA Tour, Southern Africa PGA and PGA Tour of Australasia -- announced the formation of the International Federation of PGA Tours.

One of the most significant initiatives of the new Federation was the creation and joint sanctioning of world championship-level competition for the gameís foremost players.

Rather than create three or four more 72-hole, medal-play tournaments, the Federation decided to do something special, unique and different -- bring back match play. The 64 players will vie for shares of a $5-million purse in an intense, week-long competition.

To make the concept complete, the beautiful La Costa Resort and Spa was selected as the venue. The resort, which had been host to the Mercedes Championships since 1971, will provide a perfect setting for the event.

 "I think the course is better suited for match play than stroke play," said Leonard. "This golf course is very versatile. Thereís not a lot of risk-reward here. Youíre not going to see that kind of match play. But I think itís a very solid golf course. There arenít any weak holes.

"The guy who plays the best here should win the match. You know, a lot of golf courses are more risk-reward, where guys are going to get away with things. I think this course is going to test the best players in the world. They are really going to need to be on their game to win those matches."

The event will be held at La Costa Resort and Spa in 1999 and 2000. It will move to Australia in 2001 and return to La Costa in 2002.