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AUSTIN, Texas – Sergio Garcia announced his commitment to the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play in style Thursday at the tournament’s annual Media Day at Austin Country Club, competing in a challenge that included taking shots to the 13th green from a riverboat in Lake Austin.
The WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, the third of four World Golf Championships events, returns to Austin for the third consecutive year March 21-25. For Garcia, the event has become a home game of sorts. In July, he married Austin-native Angela Akins, and the two have a home in the area.
“I’m excited about it. I feel like the last couple of years I've played well,” said Garcia. “Unfortunately, I've finished second in the group. It's one of those things it's just funny that you can play well and just miss it by very little. But I guess at the end of the day, the only thing I can do is go out there and play as well as I can, hopefully have two good matches to start with, get to the singles matches, and then go on from there.”
Garcia, the 2017 Masters Tournament champion, participated in the Riverboat Charity Challenge alongside World Golf Hall of Famer Ben Crenshaw, Austin Country Club head professional Dale Morgan, five local juniors, and three local media members in a closest-to-the-pin competition to the 13th green from 165 yards away. World Golf Hall of Famer and Austin Country Club member Tom Kite was also in attendance.
Teaming up with Crenshaw to represent the First Tee of Greater Austin, 11-year-old Danica Lundgren helped her team take home the Riverboat Charity Challenge title with a beautiful shot that went right by the pin before settling onto the back of the green. Her shot won the closest-to-the-pin competition and the winning $1,000 donation to the First Tee of the Greater Austin.
Everyone was a winner Thursday, though, as the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play announced that each of the five benefitting charities – The First Tee of Greater Austin, Helping Hand Home for Children, Keep Austin Beautiful, Austin Parks Foundation, and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Austin would each take home $1,000 donations. With the latest contribution of $5,000 in total, the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play has raised over $2.1 million in total since moving to Austin in 2016.
“It was a great day to celebrate charity,” said Executive Director Jordan Uppleger. “We were grateful to have Sergio and Austin’s Hall of Famers Ben Crenshaw and Tom Kite here to participate in Media Day, and we’re thrilled that Sergio has committed to this year’s event. We’re looking forward to hosting the top 64 players in Austin in 31 days.”
With Garcia’s commitment arriving, he joins defending champion Dustin Johnson, 2015 champion Rory McIlroy, 2013 champion Matt Kuchar, and Patrick Reed as early notables to commit to the 2018 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play with many more of the game’s biggest stars expected to commit in the coming weeks.
Johnson will return to Austin to defend his title on the heels of some impressive golf to open his 2017-18 PGA TOUR Season. In his first three starts of the season, he’s posted a victory and two runner-up finishes, joining Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, and Tiger Woods as the only players to have posted at least one victory in each of their first 11 PGA TOUR seasons. The 33-year-old is in search of his sixth World Golf Championships title and remains the only player in history to have a victory at each of the four World Golf Championships events.
Since its inception, the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play has generated more than $17 million for charity with the tournament announcing in early October that the 2017 event alone raised over $1.1 million for five Austin-based charities.
The 2018 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, the third of four World Golf Championships events during the 2017-18 season, has a limited number of tickets remaining. Tickets can be purchased at DellTechnologiesMatchPlay.com or by calling 844-868-7465. Tickets available include weekly grounds badges that grant access to the Austin Country Club grounds and all public venues, fan activations and bleachers. Additionally, ULTRA Club badges are available. The ULTRA Club, which is located on the 12th fairway, offers an enhanced venue to follow the action, with several televisions located throughout and open seating for guests to sit and mingle in a relaxed sports bar setting.
Those who purchased tickets are reminded that youth 18 and under will be admitted free throughout the event when accompanied by a ticketed adult (one free youth ticket per each adult ticket will be available). This free ticket only applies for grounds tickets and not upgraded hospitality options.
The WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play is one of the most elite and exciting tournaments on golf’s calendar as one in a series of four World Golf Championships events sanctioned and organized by the operational committee of the International Federation of PGA Tours, which includes the Asian Tour, European Tour, Japan Golf Tour, PGA TOUR, PGA Tour of Australasia and Sunshine Tour. The WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play field annually consists of the very best players from around the world from all Tours and traditionally features nearly all of the top 64 in the world.
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