Match play adds 'Follow the leaders'

                                                                                                                                                        Dec. 1, 2010

By John Davis


    MARANA, Ariz. – Tournament officials have announced “Follow the Leaders” for the 2012 World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship, a new fan enhancement that gives fans an opportunity to fall in behind the Championship Match and follow the players down each fairway until the 2012 champion is decided.  “Follow the Leaders” will give fans the unique chance to experience the crowd, walk the fairways and view the greens from a player’s perspective.  All Sunday ticket holders will be invited to “Follow the Leaders” at the Accenture Match Play Championship, the only official match-play event on the PGA TOUR schedule.                                                       

    The 2012 Accenture Match Play Championship is scheduled for February 20-26 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Dove Mountain in Marana, Ariz. 

   “We are thrilled to unveil ‘Follow the Leaders’ for the 2012 Accenture Match Play Championship and give our fans a one-of-a-kind experience to view the Championship Match like never before,” said Gerald Goodman, executive director of the Accenture Match Play Championship.  “We already have such a unique setting at Dove Mountain and a unique format as a match-play event; this is a way to bring fans even closer to the action as two of the best players in the world go head-to-head for the Walter Hagen Cup.” 

   To ensure an enjoyable experience for fans, as well as to preserve the competitive environment for the players in the Championship Match, tournament officials have built out a comprehensive operational plan for the “Follow the Leaders” program.  Groups of volunteers will be stationed on two holes at a time – the hole currently being played and preparing for the next hole to be played – holding ropes that allow fans to follow behind the final group up to within 40 feet of play.  The gallery will not be allowed near greenside bunkers, within approaches to the green or between a bunker and a green.  Marshals will also ensure fans do not walk in front of the players at any point. 

   “I'm really excited to hear about the ‘Follow the Leaders’ program,” said 2011 Accenture Match Play Championship winner and World No. 1 Luke Donald. “Winning the Accenture Match Play Championship earlier this year was a career highlight and nothing beats the atmosphere of match-play competition.  To have the gallery fill in behind the last match will make things even more exciting. I really hope I'm part of the experience in February, since that means I'm in the Championship Match and have a shot at successfully defending my title!" 

    The Accenture Match Play Championship, which is the first of four World Golf Championships of the season, has been played in the Tucson area since 2007 and at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Dove Mountain since 2009.

    Fans interested in purchasing tickets or for more information can visit

    Since the Accenture Match Play Championship moved to Tucson in 2007, more than $7.5 million has been raised for area charities as a result of the tournament, including $1.348 million from the 2011 event.   

    Note: The Accenture Match Play Championship partners with the Tucson Conquistadores to be the sales arm and charitable contribution beneficiary of the event.  Proceeds from the Accenture Match Play Championship primarily benefit The Tucson Conquistadores charities, including The First Tee of Tucson, Boys and Girls Clubs, YMCA and Pima County Special Olympics.  Since 1962, The Tucson Conquistadores have contributed more than $24 million to youth organizations.