World Golf Championships – A Brief Guide
Posted On 2019-08-29
Given that there are plenty of golf tournaments which take place annually, some of them end up being better, in the sense that they offer a larger prize pool and that they attract the best of the best from all over the world. The Majors or golf major championships are such tournaments.
But, there are other tournaments that have a status which almost rivals that of the Majors, and those would be the World Golf Championships. There is a little history as to how they became what they are. Here is what you need to know about these tournaments.
World Golf Championships – A Short History Lesson
Given that there were plenty of tournaments in golf, the International Federation of PGA Tours decided to award three tournaments the status of World Golf Championships. The world of golf had plenty of tournaments, but none to fill the gap between Majors and the tournaments far below them. These four filled the gap, even though there were three for the first ten years. The first tournaments were played in 1999, and are the Mexico Championship, the Match Play and the Invitational. In 2009, a fourth tournament was crowned a WGC tournament, the HSBC Champions. Each of the tournaments is an annual event, unique in its own way.
WGC Mexico Championship
Even though it is called the Mexico Championship, it actually took place in the United States, Canada, Mexico as well as Ireland and England. The nature of golf tournaments is that they frequently move from one location to another.
This tournament has had many name changes through the years, depending on the sponsorts, but has been the Mexico Championship since 2017. It is played in February, every single year, except 2001, when it was cancelled due to the 9/11 attack.
WGC Match Play
Just after the Mexico Championship, the Match Play or currently Dell Technologies Match Play, is a tournament which takes place in Austin, Texas, in the United States. The Austin Country Club hosts this tournament at the moment. The tournament takes place in March, annually. The best 64 players on the ranking are invited. If some of them are not available, then the next one on the list is invited. The tournament often changed grounds, being in Australia for a while, believe it or not.
As all other sponsored tournaments, the full name of this one is the WGC FedEx St. Jude Invitational. It used to be hosted by the Firestone Country Club from Ohio but has been moved to Memphis, Tennessee. It is played in July, annually. The tournament has 75 spots, but they are issued according to multiple criteria, not just the rankings. Just like the previous two tournaments, Tiger Woods has the highest aggregate score. Unlike the previous two tournaments, this one was only played on two courses.
This tournament has been around since 2005, but was crowned a WGC event in 2009. It was held in the Sheshan Golf Club in Shanghai until 2012, when it moved to another club, but was returned to Shanghai the following year. This tournament invites winners of previous tournaments as well as top player from various regions and rankings. It is played in October. This is the only WGC tournament where Tiger Woods isn’t the leading all-time player.
They are not the Majors, nor are they low-stakes tournaments. The World Golf Championships are four tournaments which are prestigious enough to be considered contenders to the Majors, in terms of prestige and prize money, even. They certainly attract a lot of attention and are filled with the world’s best golfers, every year.