WGC Match Play Could Leave Marana
By Torleif Sorenson on 2/13/14

Snowstorms in Marana, Arizona are only part of the problems
facing the PGA Tour and WGC-Match Play organizers

As reported by Phil Villarreal of the Arizona Daily Star, the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship may be leaving the Golf Club at Dove Mountain. The weather in February sometimes includes snow, as it did on February 20, 2013 (picture above). But that is hardly the worst of the problems plaguing this event.

Already, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, and reigning Masters champion Adam Scott have announced that they will skip this year's tournament, dealing a painful blow to organizers and ticket sellers.

But last month, Golfweek Magazine reported that IT consulting firm Accenture will withdraw as the tournament's sponsor. This means that the company that next sponsors the event will have strong influence in where the tournament will be played.

For their part, the PGA Tour, through spokeswoman Laura Neal, refused to confirm or announce anything until after this year's event concludes on Sunday, February 23 — assuming the tournament finishes on time and isn't interrupted by snow or other inclement weather.

Villarreal interviewed local business-owner David Hoffman of Li'l Abner's Steakhouse in Tucson said that the WGC-Match Play increases his business 20% in February each year.
"Almost all of the golfers come, and they all bring people. We get a lot of the people running the tournament. Most of them come in with parties of five or 10. Sometimes there are two or three golfers together."
Hoffman's wife Molly told the reporter that losing the tournament would be "sad for many reasons," but Hoffman himself said the economic impact would be very painful.

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Images via Twitter, Marana Parks & Recreation Department

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