Fans in 224 countries are getting a great glimpse of Marana when the Accenture Match Play Championship returns Feb. 17-23. The Golf Club at Dove Mountain is again the site of an international competition that is putting our community on the world stage for the eighth consecutive year.

Most of the game’s top 64 players are coming back. We’re expecting to see fan favorites Rory McIlroy, Bubba Watson and former event winners, including Matt Kuchar, Luke Donald and Hunter Mahan. The event is one of four World Golf Championship tournaments held every year and has a total purse of more than $8 million.

Millions of people will be tuning in. Viewership is driven by the quality and variety of the field. We’re talking about the top golfers from every tour: North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. If they’re the best, they’ll likely be in Marana.

The town always does its best to contribute to the event’s success, putting in many hours of work before, during and after the tournament. Our police officers, traffic engineers, operations and maintenance crew and communications/marketing team do stellar jobs.

It’s important to us that Match Play is a success and keeps coming back. Regional businesses and charities gain many benefits from having the PGA TOUR in Marana for a week. While no official economic impact studies have been performed, it’s estimated that the event puts at least $75 million into the Southern Arizona economy.

Fan support is vital to the Accenture Match Play Championship remaining here. It’s a week of fun in the sun and a great way to show the world that this event means a lot to Southern Arizona. It wouldn’t be possible to buy the positive attention the town, the Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain and the host course receive.

On behalf of our town council and employees, I look forward to seeing many of you on the grounds of The Golf Club at Dove Mountain. The world is coming back to Marana and we’re rolling out the welcome mat for a week of unmatched competition and international attention.

(Editor’s Note:  Ed Honea is the mayor of the Town of Marana.)

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