Sunday, March 6, 2016

Round-robin format tweaked for WGC-Dell Match Play

The format is again changing for the WGC-Dell Match Play -- albeit not as dramatically as last year.

As the 64-man match-play event moves from a one-year stop in San Francisco at Harding Park to Austin Country Club in the Texas capital, the round-robin format instituted last year will change slightly. Last year, in the three group-based matches played in the first three days, matches could not end in a draw, leaving a good chunk of the field without a meaningful match on Friday. That will change for 2016.

This year, according to Golf Channel, matches will be able to end in the round-robin portion in an 18-hole tie, with each player earning a half-point. That tweak, PGA Tour officials say, make it very unlikely that a player will be competing in a meaningless match on Friday.

“We anticipate a very good reaction from the golf course, and yes, a lot of the players, or most of the players we talked to were in favor of a few tweaks from last year, and actually I think the tweaks are going to help the competitive nature of it,” PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said on Sunday at the WGC-Cadillac Championship.

Rory McIlroy is the defending champion of the event, which will be played in two weeks, moved up from last year's May portion of the schedule. 

Ryan Ballengee is a Yahoo Sports contributor. Find him on Facebook and Twitter.

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