Match Play Levels The Playing Field
We all know the Ryder Cup is one of the better events in golf.
But why is that? Is it the whole cheering for your country part? Or is it the fact that it is match play?
Match play brings a fun spin on golf we are not used too.
On the PGA Tour there are countless tournaments of stroke play and we see people battling it out on Sunday to try and fire the low round and be crowned the winner.
Match play takes a different approach. Since it is March everyone loves brackets and March Madness is in the air. This is the fun part of match play is we see players competing one on one and trying to just beat one guy not the field.
Match play, in a way, levels the playing field. If you hit a ball into a hazard on a Sunday only two strokes in the lead and you’re on the 17th hole. You are pretty much kissing that trophy and saying goodbye to it. Match play is different because you are battling just one guy. That ball in the water may mean you only lose the hole, not the tournament. It makes the game of golf a lot more strategy to what clubs to play or how aggressive to play certain holes. Match play eliminates the one bad hole crisis we see ever so often in golf rounds.
This season the PGA has switched the Zurich Classic to this format and WGC-Dell Match Play remains match play.
Although us the viewers enjoy match play, the PGA Tour and their television contracts may disagree. The problem, for them, with match play is, in a way, the format is kind of boring. If Dustin Johnson is leading Justin Thomas by one stroke on a Sunday with eight holes to play during stroke play, that creates drama and people will watch that. The problem with match play is that Johnson may be up seven holes on Thomas with eight holes to play. As long as Johnson doesn’t turn into me for that stretch he is going to win.
The people want match play and the PGA Tour/Television contracts want stroke play. So we may never see more that two events on tour with this format.
We all will just have to be patient and wait for the Ryder and Presidents Cup.