Early response to ticket packages for the 2009 World Golf Championships – Accenture Match Play Championship has been “wonderful,” according to Judy McDermott, executive director of the Tucson Conquistadores.

“People are excited about the new golf course,” said McDermott, referring to the move to the new Jack Nicklaus Signature golf holes at the Ritz Carlton Dove Mountain in Marana.

She’s reminding everyone of Associated Press reports that match play defending champion Tiger Woods, who underwent knee surgery this summer, wants to play in several tournaments in early 2009. Everyone associated with the match play tournament hopes Tiger is in Marana for the Feb. 23-March 1 event.

“We have every reason to believe Tiger is going to be here, though we can never say for sure,” McDermott said.

McDermott and other tournament organizers had “already lowered the prices” for 2009 tickets before this latest economic pain.

“We are giving people a lot more value for their money,” she said.

The “hot” new package is the $175 Monday-Sunday ticket, of which there are limited numbers. Previously, weekend tickets were hard to get, and more expensive.

“We’re trying to take care of the true, avid golf fan that wants to come out every day,” McDermott said. “We’re catering to the demographic of Tucson, snowbirds and seniors,” who are conscious of their spending. The package is “very affordable.”

Wade Dunagan, the first-year executive director of the tournament, thinks the 2009 event is “shaping up to be one of the best yet,” a release said.

“With the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club designed by Jack Nicklaus serving as the new venue and the assistance from the Tucson Conquistadores, fans in the Southwest can again expect a first-rate experience as the best players in the world come to Tucson,” Dunagan said.

Accenture is the first of three World Golf Championships events in 2009. The Accenture Match Play Championship pits the world’s top 64 golfers in a bracket-style competition.

Tournament organizers have yet to finalize fan capacity at the new Jack Nicklaus Signature courses on Dove Mountain. A year ago, the total crowd at The Gallery was close to 100,000 fans. “We can accommodate more” than at The Gallery, “but we don’t want it overrun,” McDermott said. “We can sell a lot more tickets.”

The World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship has partnered with the Tucson Conquistadores as the sales arm and charitable contribution beneficiary of the Accenture Match Play Championship. Proceeds from the Accenture Match Play Championship primarily benefit The Tucson Conquistadores Charities, including The First Tee of Tucson, Boys and Girls Clubs, YMCA and Pima County Special Olympics.

If you go

Ticket packages for the 2009 World Golf Championships – Accenture Match Play Championship, Feb. 23-March 1 at the Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain in Marana:

• Monday practice round, $25

• Tuesday practice round, $25

• Mon/Tue package, $45

• Wednesday, $45

• Thursday, $45

• Friday, $45

• Wed-Fri package, $120

• Monday-Sunday package, $175 (limited availability)

To order tickets, go to www.worldgolfchampionships.com or call (866) 942-2672 or (520) 571-0400.

Hospitality packages are also available at www.worldgolfchampionships.com.

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