Match Play Championship in limbo

With Accenture having pulled out as title sponsor of the WGC-Match Play Championship, the date and site of the event for next year remain up in the air.

The tournament, which Jason Day of Australia won in an exciting final over Victor Dubuisson of France on the fifth extra hole in February at the Golf Club at Dove Mountain in Marana, Ariz., will not be in its traditional spot on the PGA Tour schedule for the first time since its inception in 1999.

“This has been taking longer than we thought,” Commissioner Tim Finchem of the PGA Tour said at The Players Championship. “We’ll see. We probably won’t have anything to say for at least a few weeks.”

Because of some shuffling in the schedule for next year, there is no room for the Match Play Championship before the Players Championship in May.

The Valero Texas Open has announced that it will be played next year on March 26-29, two weeks before the Masters. And the Byron Nelson Championship, which will have AT&T as its new title sponsor, will be held May 21-24.

That leaves May 14-17, a week after the Players, as the only open date on the schedule.

Finchem did not rule out the possibility that the tournament would return to Tucson, Ariz., which has an experienced host organization, the Conquistadors, but that decision probably will be left up to the new sponsor.

“Where we’re going is an open question,” Finchem said. “Certainly, Tucson is a possibility.”

The PGA Tour is in talks with at least one potential sponsor, but one big problem is that the top players do not always play the tournament, and this year Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Adam Scott did not show.

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