Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
HSBC World Match Play Championship
The HSBC World Match Play Championship is the current sponsored name of a matchplay golf tournament played each September at Wentworth Club near London. Previous sponsors have included Piccadilly, Suntory, Toyota and Cisco.
The tournament was founded by Mark McCormack as a showcase for the players he managed. The inaugural event in 1964 was won by Arnold Palmer, who was McCormack's first client. The calibre of the winners has consistently been very high, with the majority of the tournaments being won by players who have been official world number 1 (or before the introduction of the Official World Golf Rankings, unofficial world number 1) at some point in their career.
The event consists of thirty six hole matches played in a single day. For many years it was a twelve man event, with eight seeded players being given a by in the first round. It was sometimes felt that this was unfair, as an unseeded player needed to string together eight successful rounds in four days to win, twice as many as in a strokeplay tournament, whereas a seeded player only needed six successful rounds to win.
For its first forty years the tournament was an unofficial one, highly regarded by golf fans in Britain and many other countries outside the United States, popular with players, and happily coexisting with the PGA European Tour, at whose home course it is played, but not taken into account on an official tour money list, and offering no World Ranking Points. The introduction in 1999 of the sixty four man WGC-Accenture World Matchplay Championship, which selected its field on the basis of the World Rankings, was a blow to the prestige of the older event, whose exhibitional aspects, with a small invited field were emphasised by contrast.
The current Championship
In 2003 the tournament was given a major overhaul. Greatly increased sponsorship was secured from the largest British based bank, HSBC, and the winners prize was increased to £1 million, which was then easily the largest in world golf (although the Nedbank Golf Challenge had had a $2 million first prize from 2000-02). The field was increased to sixteen men, all of whom need to play eight rounds of golf to win, to eliminate the advantage previously given to seeds. A qualifying system based primarily on performances in the four majors, replaced the invitations of the past. World ranking points were allocated to the event, and the results were counted in the PGA European Tour money list - not however the actual prize money, which is far higher than for the other events on the tour, but scaled down amounts intended to be more proportionate. This overhaul is considered to be a great success in every respect except one: some of the top Americans still decline their invitations.
- 2004 Ernie Els, South Africa
- 2003 Ernie Els, South Africa
- 2002 Ernie Els, South Africa
- 2001 Ian Woosnam, Wales
- 2000 Lee Westwood, England
- 1999 Colin Montgomerie, Scotland
- 1998 Mark O'Meara, United States
- 1997 Vijay Singh, Fiji
- 1996 Ernie Els, South Africa
- 1995 Ernie Els, South Africa
- 1994 Ernie Els, South Africa
- 1993 Corey Pavin, United States
- 1992 Nick Faldo, England
- 1991 Seve Ballesteros, Spain
- 1990 Ian Woosnam, Wales
- 1989 Nick Faldo, England
- 1988 Sandy Lyle, Scotland
- 1987 Ian Woosnam, Wales
- 1986 Greg Norman, Australia
- 1985 Seve Ballesteros, Spain
- 1984 Seve Ballesteros, Spain
- 1983 Greg Norman, Australia
- 1982 Seve Ballesteros, Spain
- 1981 Seve Ballesteros, Spain
- 1980 Greg Norman, Australia
- 1979 Bill Rogers, United States
- 1978 Isao Aoki , Japan
- 1977 Graham Marsh , Australia
- 1976 David Graham, Australia
- 1975 Hale Irwin, United States
- 1974 Hale Irwin, United States
- 1973 Gary Player, South Africa
- 1972 Tom Weiskopf, United States
- 1971 Gary Player, South Africa
- 1970 Jack Nicklaus, United States
- 1969 Bob Charles, New Zealand
- 1968 Gary Player, South Africa
- 1967 Arnold Palmer, United States
- 1966 Gary Player, South Africa
- 1965 Gary Player, South Africa
- 1964 Arnold Palmer, United States
As of 2004, the following players have been World Match Play Champion more than once:
- 6 times: Ernie Els
- 5 times: Seve Ballesteros and Gary Player
- 3 times: Greg Norman and Ian Woosnam
- 2 times: Nick Faldo, Hale Irwin and Arnold Palmer
This is the current qualification system. The largest category is criteria 3, which is based on the major championships, but criteria 4 and 5 give favourable treatment to members of the European Tour.
1. The defending champion.
2. The World Number One on the Official World Golf Ranking as at March 31 in the year of the Championship.
3. The leading ten available players, not qualified under criteria 1 or 2, from the HSBC Major Championship Rankings as at the conclusion of the PGA Championship. These rankings award points for high finishes in the four majors.
4. The leading two available European Tour Members from the HSBC European Tournament Rankings, not qualified under criteria 1, 2 or 3. These rankings will reflect the actual World Ranking points earned by European Tour Members in the following four events:
5. The leading two available European Tour members, not qualified under criteria 1, 2, 3 or 4, from the European Tour Order of Merit, as of three weeks before the Championship.
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