Match play finals 18 holes
Explorer file photo / Randy Metcalf, Ian Poulter is the defending champion at the World Golf Championships – Accenture Match Play Championship. This year’s event is the week of Feb. 21 at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Dove Mountain in Marana.

Explorer staff report

In a format revamp, the final round of February’s 2011 World Golf Championships - Accenture Match Play Championship at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Dove Mountain will be 18 holes, rather than 36.

The PGA Tour announced the change earlier in December. Commissioner Tim Finchem believes the switch “will make for better television,” according to a release.

“We believe this will enhance the viewing experience for the fans on site as well as our NBC television audience,” Finchem said.

The format change also results in a scheduling change. Quarterfinals shift from Saturday morning to the afternoon, and the semifinals move from Saturday afternoon to Sunday morning, with the 18-hole championship and consolation matches being held Sunday afternoon.

“We believe the change to an 18-hole championship match will work in the best interest of our players, fans and corporate partners while not jeopardizing the competitive integrity of the event,” said Wade Dunagan, tournament executive director. “It is our hope that four different matches contested throughout the day on Sunday, coupled with eight quarterfinal matches on Saturday, will provide more live action to our fans on site, as well as the worldwide television audience — all while still determining a most-worthy champion by the end of the competition.”

The 2011 Accenture Match Play Championship is scheduled for the week of Feb. 21 in Marana. Tickets are on sale now, with a holiday ticket offer at www.worldgolfchampionships.com.

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