Starting in 2015 at the WGC-Match Play event at Harding Park — an unforgettable week as you may recall! — the format of the tournament changed. Of course it’s still match play and it’s only been in effect for two years, so it’s not really a great sample size to judge, especially since I wasn’t able to catch much of the coverage. In all honestly, I don’t have a good feel for the new round-robin format and I don’t like not knowing or experiencing firsthand the positives and negatives resulting from the somewhat significant changes since 2014.
What I can say with utmost confidence, though, is that Wednesday — the first day of the matches — used to be one of my favorite days of the season (and definitely the most exciting one all year at a non-major, hands down). It was always action-packed, filled with tons of dramas, massive upsets, riveting comebacks, twists and turns that was nonstop from start to end. Which was largely because it was truly golf’s version of the NCAA’s March Madness, a single-round elimination knock-out format. Lose the first match and you might be headed for first-available private jet out of Austin (or Tucson, the longtime venue of the event pre-2015), before the no. 1 seeded player had even teed off.