WGC-Matchplay format revamped

Bizarre eagle for Angel Yin in LPGA event

The tournament will now feature a World Cup-style draw to determine the composition of 16 four-man groups for the first stage of the event, which will be held at Harding Park in San Francisco.

Each group will be headed by one of the top 16 players in the world rankings, with the remaining pots featuring players ranked 17-32, 33-48 and 49-64.

The tournament has been played in bracket format in recent seasons, with the top-ranked player taking on the lowest and so on – last year’s final saw Jason Day beat Victor Dubuisson in a thrilling final at Dove Mountain in Arizona.

But it will be all change this season, with the venue, date and format all different as Cadillac take over from Accenture as tournament sponsor.

The draw will take place on Monday, April 27 and world No 1 Rory McIlroy has given his backing to the changes, as he said: “I think this is a very cool concept.

???I???m excited to see who I end up paired against. The new group format as a whole is going to make for a very exciting three rounds.???

Group matches will be played over three days from Wednesday April 29, with the winner of each group progressing to the last-16 on Saturday morning.

Quarter-finals will be held in the afternoon, with the semi-finals and final on Sunday May 3.

The event will be on the move again next year with another new venue in Austin, Texas, a different slot in the schedule (March 21-27) and another new sponsor in computer giant Dell.