Cadillac new title sponsor of WGC-Match Play
September 30, 2014
- TPC Harding Park in San Francisco will host the 2015 WGC-Match Play Championship. (David Cannon/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO – The PGA TOUR, on behalf of the International Federation of PGA Tours and Cadillac, today announced through its digital channels (http://youtu.be/fbC07-i34zI) an agreement whereby Cadillac becomes title sponsor of the 2015 World Golf Championships-Cadillac Match Play, in addition to its existing sponsorship of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship. As announced in July, the 2015 Cadillac Match Play will be played at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco on April 27-May 3.
“The World Golf Championships provide a global stage for the game’s highest achievers,” said Melody Lee, director of Cadillac brand and reputation strategy. “Expanding our World Golf Championships partnership to the Cadillac Match Play is a natural, as it is such a unique event, now hosted in the Bay Area, one of America’s most dynamic regions.”
In July, the PGA of America, the PGA TOUR and the City and County of San Francisco announced a partnership that will bring the 2020 PGA Championship, The Presidents Cup 2025 and the 2015 World Golf Championships-Cadillac Match Play to TPC Harding Park, a municipal course owned by the City and County of San Francisco. As part of the announcement, officials also revealed a new tournament date and format for the Cadillac Match Play.
“We are absolutely delighted to partner with Cadillac at one of the most exciting and unique events on golf’s calendar,” said PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem. “Cadillac has already proved to be an incredible sponsor of the Cadillac Championship by raising the standard of excellence at the tournament while also using the event as a successful marketing and promotional arm to drive its business. We know Cadillac will find similar success in the Bay Area at TPC Harding Park.”
Cadillac: New Sponsor of the World Golf Championships-Match Play
To kick-off ticket sales and celebrate the exciting news, the Cadillac Match Play is offering limited-time savings. From September 30–October 31, fans that buy a Weekly Grounds ticket for $99, will get a complimentary second Weekly Grounds ticket. This two-for-one ticket offer and more ticket options are available on worldgolfchampionships.com.
As part of this announcement, Golf Channel and NBC have also been announced as host broadcasters of the event. Golf Channel will air the first three days of round-robin play live in primetime Wednesday through Friday. On Saturday, Golf Channel will air the Round of 16 live on Saturday afternoon leading into NBC’s coverage of the quarterfinal matches live in prime time on Saturday night. On Sunday, Golf Channel will air live coverage of the semi-final matches leading into NBC's live coverage of the championship and consolation matches on Sunday afternoon.
The tournament moved from a traditional February date and will now be held April 27-May 3, the week prior to THE PLAYERS Championship. Going forward, the 64-player Cadillac Match Play field will be divided into 16 four-player groups. Each group will play round-robin matches within their group on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The player with the best record in each of the four groups advances to the Round of 16 for single-elimination match play (in the event of a two-way tie in a group, head-to-head results will be used as the tiebreaker; a three-way tie will require a sudden-death playoff). The Round of 16 will be played Saturday morning, followed by the Quarterfinals Saturday afternoon. The Semifinals will be Sunday morning, followed by the Championship Match and Consolation Match on Sunday afternoon. This means that fans are guaranteed to see the field in its entirety during the first three days of competition before players begin being eliminated.
Title sponsors of World Golf Championships events also become umbrella sponsors of the four-event series. Cadillac previously became an umbrella sponsor through their agreement at the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral. The World Golf Championships umbrella sponsorship provides Cadillac with another distinctive international marketing opportunity, including extensive branding and advertising across the four-event global series, as well as opportunities to connect with customers and dealers. Cadillac will continue its vehicle display programs at events and throughout the year at both TPC Harding Park and Trump National Doral.
Matches in the World Golf Championships - Dell Match Play
The announcement builds upon a strengthening relationship the PGA TOUR and the City and County of San Francisco have developed that began with the rebuilding of TPC Harding Park in 2002.
Introduced in 1999, the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Match Play features the top 64 players from the Official World Golf Ranking in a unique match-play format. The Cadillac Match Play is the third of four World Golf Championships events sanctioned and organized by the International Federation of PGA Tours on the PGA TOUR schedule. The other World Golf Championships include the Cadillac Championship (Doral, Fla.), the Bridgestone Invitational (Akron, Ohio) and the HSBC Champions (Shanghai, China). The Cadillac Match Play is broadcast to more than 1 billion households in 225 countries and territories in 32 languages. Proceeds from the event will benefit local Bay Area charities. The Cadillac Match Play has generated more than $14 million for charity since its inception, part of the more than $50 million raised for global charities since the advent of the World Golf Championships in 1999.
Previously, the Cadillac Match Play had been held in Marana, Ariz., since 2007. It was contested at La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad, Calif., from 1999-2000 and 2002-2006; in 2001 it was held at The Metropolitan Club in Victoria, Australia. Jason Day is the defending champion.
As part of the announcement, player quotes, highlight videos, TPC Harding Park information and ticket info can be found at the Cadillac Match Play web site by visiting www.worldgolfchampionships.com.
TPC HARDING PARK HISTORY
Situated on a gently rolling peninsula surrounded by the shores of Lake Merced in San Francisco’s southwest corner, TPC Harding Park has reclaimed its stature as one of the top public golf properties in the United States. Formerly Harding Park Golf Club, the course opened for play in 1925 after a design by noted architects Willie Watson and Sam Whiting, who also oversaw the construction of the Olympic Club. Officials named the course after President Warren G. Harding; the 29th President of the United States was an avid golfer who died at the Palace Hotel in 1923 during a visit to San Francisco.
The course became immediately popular and gained national notoriety when the United States Golf Association selected the par-70 course to host the U.S. Public Links Championship in 1937, which again was played at Harding Park in 1956. In between, professional golf arrived at Harding Park, with Byron Nelson winning the 1944 San Francisco Victory Open. In 1959, Mason Rudolph won the Golden Gate Championship at Harding Park, edging Dow Finsterwald and Bob Goalby. The PGA TOUR made Harding Park a TOUR stop in 1961 when it added the Lucky International to its tournament schedule; the event was played from 1961 to 1968 (there was no tournament in 1967).
While its signature event was the San Francisco City Championship, which attracted the best amateurs from California, a slow deterioration of the course began as it went from a jewel in the Bay Area to nothing more than what some described as a clover patch by the 1980s. A San Francisco Chronicle story described the course: “Weeds, clusters of daisies and splotches of dirt came to characterize this once-pristine layout.”
Enter Frank “Sandy” Tatum, who had played in the San Francisco City Championship while attending Stanford University and stayed in the Bay Area, spending his career there as an attorney. Tatum had gained stature in the golf industry, serving as president of the USGA. Tatum became instrumental in turning Harding Park’s fortunes around, receiving assistance from local government leaders. As part of the renovation process, Tatum eventually turned to the PGA TOUR and the International Federation of PGA Tours, the governing body for the World Golf Championships. Under the direction of PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem, the International Federation named Harding Park the site of the 2005 World Golf Championships-American Express Championship (now known as the Cadillac Championship).
In advance of the event, Harding Park underwent a 15-month renovation project that expanded the course from 6,743 yards to around 7,200 yards. The course reopened on Aug. 22, 2003, and the World Golf Championships event was held in October 2005. As Tatum envisioned, TPC Harding Park is also the site of The First Tee of San Francisco, which now reaches more than 80,000 young people annually through chapter programs and elementary schools.
The course was added to the PGA TOUR’s prestigious TPC Network of clubs in November 2010. Joining such properties as TPC Sawgrass, home of THE PLAYERS Championship, TPC Harding Park became the 32nd club in the TPC Network. Entering a partnership between the PGA TOUR and the City of San Francisco, TPC Harding Park is operating under no management fees; thus, allowing both the city and the TOUR to give back to local communities through charitable donations.