Report: PGA Tour’s Player Advisory Council rejected change to Match Play format

March 26, 2019

The PGA Tour’s Player Advisory Council reportedly rejected a proposal from Dell Technologies to change the Match Play format to finish with 36 holes of stroke play, according to Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard.

According to the report, Dell Technologies, the host of this week’s WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play since 2017 — it was the WGC-Dell Match Play in 2016 — wanted 32 players to advance out of match play to compete in a 36-hole stroke-play finish on the weekend.

The current format sends the winners of 16 groups to the Round of 16, which begins on Saturday morning. It’s single-elimination from that point forward until a winner is crowned on Sunday evening.

“If you want to introduce stroke play then you make it as it is in a lot of amateur match-play events and have a stroke-play qualifier and then a match-play knockout,” Paul Casey, a member of the PAC, told Hoggard. “Or go straight knockout, 64 guys. To me, that’s my thought on it and the vast majority of players seem to think that way.”

The Match Play was single-elimination from 1999 to 2014, but round-robin group play was introduced in 2015, which is still the current format. Despite the changes, the event has long had to deal with the reality of losing top players (and big draws, both on site and for TV ratings) who lose their matches and don’t advance to the weekend.

This week’s tournament begins with group play on Wednesday. You can see the 16 four-person groups here.