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Bay Area to host several tourneys

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - TPC Harding Park in San Francisco will host the Match Play Championship in 2015, the PGA Championship in 2020 and the Presidents Cup in 2025.

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PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem, PGA of America President Ted Bishop and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee made the announcement at a City Hall news conference Wednesday.

The Match Play, which has been held the last eight years in Arizona, will begin the last week of April under a new format. The tournament will offer a similar structure to the World Cup, with group play leading into single-elimination matches.

The reconfiguration will ensure that all 64 players are around for at least three days. In the past, single-elimination from the outset often led to quick exits for top players and fan favorites.

The trio of tournaments adds to an aggressive schedule in San Francisco's southwest corridor.

The Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic, which was held on the last weekend of April this year, is set to return to Lake Merced in nearby Daly City in 2015. And the inaugural U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship is scheduled from April 30 to May 6 at The Olympic Club, where the U.S. Open was last held in 2012.

After going more than 40 years without being played on a public course, the PGA Championship is now headed to two in a row.

The 2019 event will be played at Bethpage Black, a public course on New York's Long Island. The last PGA Championship on an affordable public course was in 1974 at Tanglewood Golf Course in North Carolina.

The PGA Championship has not been played on the West Coast since 1998 at Sahalee Country Club outside Seattle. The 2020 event at Harding Park also gives California majors in three consecutive years, with the U.S. Open going to Pebble Beach in 2019 and Torrey Pines in 2021.

The PGA Tour's commitment to hold Match Play at Harding Park is only for one year. The tournament had typically been held in February the past eight years at Dove Mountain outside Tucson, Arizona. But the PGA Tour's contract with title sponsor Accenture ended after this year's event, leaving the Match Play's future uncertain.

The tournament is set for April 29 to May 3 - the week before The Players Championship - next year to improve the chances of dry conditions at Harding. The title sponsor for the 2015 tournament remains unclear.

As in the past, the top 64 players in the World Golf Ranking will qualify for the event. Starting next year in San Francisco, the field will be divided into 16 groups of four players.

There will be round-robin match play on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at the tournament. And the winner of each group will advance to the round of 16 on Saturday morning.

Head-to-head results will be used to break two-way ties, with sudden-death playoffs for three-way ties. The quarterfinals will be played Saturday afternoon, the semifinals Sunday morning and the championship match and consolation match Sunday afternoon.

Harding Park, the site of the Presidents Cup in 2009, has never hosted a major. The Presidents Cup features 24 of the world's top golfers - 12 from the U.S. and 12 from around the world, excluding Europe - in a team match-play competition.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
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