SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The southwest corridor of San Francisco is going to get all the golf it can handle over the next decade.
TPC Harding Park will host the Match Play Championship in 2015, the PGA Championship in 2020 and the Presidents Cup in 2025. The announcement was made Wednesday by PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem, PGA of America President Ted Bishop and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee at a swanky City Hall news conference.
Speaking on the second-floor balcony outside the mayor's office to a crowd that included about 100 leaders and golf officials, Finchem said the coordination between the PGA Tour and PGA of America to stage all three events at the same venue is unprecedented. He said he hopes similar collaboration can be done in the future to benefit both organizations and their fans.
"Today is an announcement of a lot of firsts," Finchem said.
The trio of tournaments adds to an aggressive schedule in the area.
The Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic, which was held on the last weekend of April this year, is set to return to Lake Merced just down the road in Daly City in 2015. And the inaugural U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship is scheduled from April 30 to May 6 at The Olympic Club, where the U.S. Open was last held in 2012.
Organizers are counting on the sports-saturated Bay Area market — loaded with corporate dollars from San Francisco to Silicon Valley — to provide support behind the ropes and on sponsorship banners.
The PGA Tour's commitment to hold the Match Play at Harding Park is only for one year. The tournament had typically been held in February the past eight years at Dove Mountain outside Tucson, Arizona. But the PGA Tour's contract with title sponsor Accenture ended after this year's event, leaving the event's future uncertain.
The tournament is set for April 29 to May 3 — the week before The Players Championship — next year to improve the chances of dry conditions at Harding. The title sponsor for the 2015 tournament remains unclear.
The Match Play's debut at Harding also will feature a new format. The tournament will have a similar structure to the World Cup, with group play leading into single-elimination matches.
The reconfiguration will ensure that all 64 players — determined by the Official World Golf Ranking, as in the past — are around for at least three days. Previously, single-elimination from the outset often led to quick exits for top players and fan favorites.