Cloudy future


Looking for answers about the future of the Accenture Match Play Championship? Tim Finchem isn’t providing many.

The PGA TOUR commissioner has been in Marana all week for the event, widely believed to be the last time the tournament will take place here. Finchem’s news conference Sunday did little to settle the question.

“I wouldn’t rule out anything at this point,” Finchem said of both the Accenture sponsorship and location for 2015. “We haven’t moved in any one direction. We don’t have any particular agenda. We’re just looking at the opportunities that are out there and I’m guessing it will be several weeks before we settle on it.”

Match Play has been held in Marana since 2007, starting at The Gallery Golf Club before settling at what is now The Golf Club at Dove Mountain the past six years. The PGA TOUR’s contract with Dove Mountain developer Cottonwood Properties and The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain expired after the 2010 tournament, making the last four events a year-to-year proposal.

Accenture’s agreement as sponsor is finished as soon as the last putt drops today. Speculation has centered on the company not re-upping, causing the Tour to find a new title sponsor for the event.

Finchem says the Tour and Accenture could continue working together.

“We’re talking about different ways to continue a relationship with them,” he said. “At this point, I wouldn’t rule out anything.”

The host course and community could be any of several places next year, even possibly Marana. The media has reported that San Francisco could get the tournament.

“We like Harding Park,” Finchem said of the Tournament Players Championship course in San Francisco. “Like I say, lots of options out there.”

That even includes taking the event overseas. Only one of the World Golf Championships tournament is held outside of the U.S., the HSBC Championship in China. The International Federation of PGA Tours could choose to make the series more global, maybe even stretching into Central America. The 2016 Summer Olympics will feature golf for the first time and those games are in Brazil.

“We could,” Finchem said of giving Match Play to an international host. “It would probably require some date work, but it’s certainly a possibility.”

Finchem said agreements on the sponsor and site likely would be announced by April.

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