by PGA Tour
Change introduced for 2012: seedings to be based off Official World Golf Ranking as of Monday, February 20
MARANA, Ariz. – One week remains for players to move into the top 64 in the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) and solidify their position in the field for the 2012 World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship. This week’s AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am on the PGA TOUR and the European Tour’s Omega Dubai Desert Classic are the final opportunities for players to punch their ticket to The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Dove Mountain, and the first World Golf Championships event of the season, February 20-26.
One of the marquee players who finds himself on the “bubble” is Jim Furyk of the United States, who claimed the FedExCup title en route to earning PGA TOUR Player of the Year honors in 2010. He enters the week No. 59 in the OWGR. Last year he was the No. 10 seed and fell to Ryan Palmer in the First Round, 2 down. Furyk is competing this week in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Matteo Manassero of Italy, who last year became the youngest player to compete in a World Golf Championships event, is currently ranked No. 60 and is competing at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic this week.
Several players on the bubble have put their positions inside the top 64 in jeopardy by not competing this week, including: South Africa’s Ernie Els (No. 62); Australia’s Robert Allenby (No. 64); and Charles Howell III of the United States (No. 66). Els has competed in 11 of the previous 13 installments of the Accenture Match Play Championship and each of the last six. He advanced to the semifinals in 2001, falling to Pierre Fulke in 19 holes, and the quarterfinals in 2009. Allenby has competed in every Accenture Match Play Championship since 2001, with his career-best finish of a T5 coming in 2005. And Howell has seven career Accenture Match Play Championship starts to his credit, but has not qualified for the event since 2008.
Here’s a quick look at players ranked No. 58 through 75 and their status this week:
58 Robert Rock Omega Dubai
59 Jim Furyk AT&T Pebble
60 Matteo Manassero Omega Dubai
61 Greg Chalmers Not Playing
62 Ernie Els Not Playing
63 Kevin Na AT&T Pebble
64 Robert Allenby Not Playing
65 Ryan Moore AT&T Pebble
66 Charles Howell III Not Playing
67 Joost Luiten Omega Dubai
68 Toru Taniguchi Not Playing
69 Nicolas Colsaerts Omega Dubai
70 Toru Taniguchi Not Playing
71 Alexander Noren Omega Dubai
72 Spencer Levin AT&T Pebble
73 Johnson Wagner Not Playing
74 Sean O’Hair AT&T Pebble
75 Vijay Singh AT&T Pebble
One week after losing in a playoff at the Farmers Insurance Open, Kyle Stanley overcame an eight-shot deficit entering the final round to win the Waste Management Phoenix Open on Sunday and claim his first PGA TOUR victory. The win moved Stanley from No. 87 in the OWGR to No. 52 and on the cusp of qualifying for the Accenture Match Play Championship for the first time. Should he remain inside the top 64, Stanley will make his first start in a World Golf Championships event later this month in Marana. Spencer Levin, who was the victim of Stanley’s comeback, moved to No. 73 in the OWGR with his third-place finish last week. He is in the field at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am would likely need another top-three finish to qualify for his first World Golf Championships start.
Scotland’s Paul Lawrie moved inside the top 50 in the OWGR for the first time since 2003 with his victory at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters over the weekend. At No. 47 in the OWGR, the former British Open champion (1999) will make his first start at the Accenture Match Play Championship since 2003. Lawrie advanced to the Quarterfinals of the Accenture Match Play Championship in 2000 before falling to Tiger Woods, 1 down.
New for 2012, the seeding for the Accenture Match Play Championship bracket will be based off the OWGR as of the Monday of championship week, February 20, as opposed to the OWGR at the time the field is finalized (February 13). This modification was made to ensure players are seeded based upon their most current ranking position. The eligibility criteria for the field remains unchanged. The final brackets will be released at 7 a.m. ET on February 20.
“This format change was implemented so that a player’s most current Official World Golf Ranking position is reflected in the 2012 Accenture Match Play Championship bracket,” said Andy Pazder, executive vice president and chief of operations for the PGA TOUR. “If a player makes a significant jump in the Official World Golf Ranking in one of the events immediately preceding the Accenture Match Play Championship, or if there is a shuffle at the top of the Official World Golf Ranking, that will be reflected in the bracket, more accurately determining the seeding for the field. We want the No. 1 seed in each bracket to reflect the current top-four players in the Official World Golf Ranking, setting up the best chance for No. 1 and No. 2 in the world to meet in the finals.”
The Accenture Match Play Championship, which is the first in a series of four World Golf Championships events in 2012, has been played in the Tucson area since 2007 and at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Dove Mountain since 2009. Fans interested in purchasing tickets can visit www.worldgolfchampionships.com or call the Tucson Conquistadores office at 520-571-0400.
Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with more than 244,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world’s most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. The company generated net revenues of US$25.5 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2011. Its home page is www.accenture.com.
About the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship
The Accenture Match Play Championship is the first of four World Golf Championships events in 2012 sanctioned and organized by the International Federation of PGA Tours. The other World Golf Championships include the Cadillac Championship (Doral, Fla.), the Bridgestone Invitational (Akron, Ohio) and the HSBC Champions (Shanghai, China). The Accenture Match Play Championship is broadcast to approximately 580 million households in 224 countries and territories in 29 languages. Proceeds from the Accenture Match Play Championship primarily benefit The Tucson Conquistadores youth charities, including The First Tee of Tucson, Boys and Girls Clubs, YMCA and Pima County Special Olympics. Since the Accenture Match Play Championship moved to Tucson in 2007, more than $7.5 million has been raised for area charities as a result of the tournament, including $1.348 million from the 2011 event.