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The World Golf Championships (WGC) are a group of four annual events for male professional golfers created by the International Federation of PGA Tours. All four are official money events on the European Tour and the Japan Golf Tour, and officially sanctioned by the Asian Tour, Sunshine Tour and PGA Tour of Australasia. Three of the four are official money events on the PGA Tour, but the 2009 edition of the HSBC Champions will not be an official event on that tour. However, the 2009 HSBC Champions winner will receive an invitation to the 2010 SBS Championship, the PGA Tour's season opener that invites only winners of tournaments in the previous season. For some, in the pantheon of golf events, WGCs rank immediately below the major championships and above all other competitions, however most would put The Players Championship, the so-called "Fifth Major", above the WGC events.

Contents

Events

Event Format
WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship (1999-) Match play
WGC-CA Championship (1999-) Stroke play
WGC-Bridgestone Invitational (1999-) Stroke play
WGC-HSBC Champions (2009-) Stroke play

The first three events all began in 1999, although the Bridgestone Invitational is the direct successor of the World Series of Golf, which began in 1976. The CA Championship superseded a long-standing event at the Doral Resort in Florida after the 2006 season. It previously traveled to different venues around the world.

In April 2009, it was announced that the HSBC Champions, first held in 2005, had been awarded World Golf Championships status, starting with the next tournament in November. It is now the fourth tournament on the worldwide calendar.[1]

The WGC concept was introduced to create a larger group of golf tournaments with a high global profile by bringing the leading golfers from different tours together on a more regular basis, rather than just for the major championships. At the time the publicity spoke of a "World Tour" which might develop on the basis of the World Championships and the majors. That concept seems to have been dropped, but the four events usually attract entries from almost all of the elite players who are eligible to compete and they rank among the most prestigious and high profile events outside of the majors. The prize money on offer is very close to being the highest for any professional golf tournament. Winners generally receive 70 to 78 Official World Golf Ranking Points, the most awarded for any tournament apart from the major championships, which carry 100 points, and The Players Championship, which is allocated 80.[2] Tiger Woods has dominated these tournaments, winning 16 of the first 35 events and winning at least one event each year since their inception.

From 2000 to 2006 the men's golf World Cup, a tournament for teams of two players representing their country, was a World Golf Championship event, although it was not an official money event on any tour. Beginning in 2007 it is no longer part of the World Golf Championships, but it is still played, and is currently known as the Mission Hills World Cup.

From 2000 to 2006 most years two or three of the four events were staged in the United States and one or two were staged elsewhere. Starting in 2007, all three of the individual World Golf Championships events were played in the United States, which attracted criticism from some golfers, including Tiger Woods and Ernie Els, and in the media outside the United States. PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem responded by insisting that playing in the U.S is best for golf as more money can be made there than elsewhere.[3] The 2009 elevation of the HSBC Champions, held in China, to full WGC status may mute this criticism.

Winners

Year Match Play Championship Invitational Champions
2010 England Ian Poulter South Africa Ernie Els (2/2)
2009 Australia Geoff Ogilvy (3/3) United States Phil Mickelson (1/2) United States Tiger Woods (16/16) United States Phil Mickelson (2/2)
Year Match Play Championship Invitational
2008 United States Tiger Woods (15/16) Australia Geoff Ogilvy (2/3) Fiji Vijay Singh
2007 Sweden Henrik Stenson United States Tiger Woods (13/16) United States Tiger Woods (14/16)
Year Match Play Invitational Championship World Cup
2006 Australia Geoff Ogilvy (1/3) United States Tiger Woods (11/16) United States Tiger Woods (12/16) Germany Bernhard Langer & Marcel Siem
2005 United States David Toms United States Tiger Woods (9/16) United States Tiger Woods (10/16) Wales Stephen Dodd & Bradley Dredge
2004 United States Tiger Woods (8/16) United States Stewart Cink South Africa Ernie Els (1/2) England Paul Casey & Luke Donald
2003 United States Tiger Woods (6/16) Northern Ireland Darren Clarke (2/2) United States Tiger Woods (7/16) South Africa Trevor Immelman & Rory Sabbatini
2002 United States Kevin Sutherland Australia Craig Parry United States Tiger Woods (5/16) Japan Toshimitsu Izawa & Shigeki Maruyama
2001 United States Steve Stricker United States Tiger Woods (4/16) Cancelled due to 9/11 South Africa Ernie Els & Retief Goosen
2000 Northern Ireland Darren Clarke (1/2) United States Tiger Woods (3/16) Canada Mike Weir United States Tiger Woods & David Duval
Year Match Play Invitational Championship
1999 United States Jeff Maggert United States Tiger Woods (1/16) United States Tiger Woods (2/16)
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National summary

Nation Total wins Team wins Individual wins Individual winners
 United States 24 1 23 7
 Australia 4 0 4 2
 South Africa 4 2 2 1
 Northern Ireland 2 0 2 1
 Canada 1 0 1 1
 Fiji 1 0 1 1
 Sweden 1 0 1 1
 Japan 1 1 0 0
 England 1 1 0 0
 Wales 1 1 0 0
 Germany 1 1 0 0

Notes and references

  1. ^ "Asian event joins elite WGC list". BBC Sport. 2009-04-28. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/golf/8022189.stm. Retrieved 2009-04-28. 
  2. ^ Prior to 2007, the official points allocations were half of these values, but points won in the current year were given a weighting of 2 in the ranking calculation. The system was revised in 2007, so that points are now given an initial weighting of 1, which then tapers to zero over a two-year period starting 13 weeks after the award.
  3. ^ PGA Tour chief defends US dates

External links


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