sport

Triple boost for Harding Park

TPC Harding Park will host its first major in 2020 as well as a revamped WGC-Match Play Championship in 2015, it has been announced.

The San Francisco course will stage the PGA Championship in 2020, the WGC-Match Play Championship next year and the Presidents Cup in 2025.

In a joint announcement made PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem, PGA of America president Ted Bishop and San Francisco mayor Ed Lee, it was revealed that next season's Match Play will move to Harding Park after eight years at Dove Mountain in Arizona.

The World Golf Championship event will take place in the last week of April, two months later than it is usually played, although the commitment is for one year only.

The future of the Match Play had been in doubt after main sponsor Accenture ended their association with the tournament following this year's contest.

Next year's competition will also feature a new format, in which the top 64 players in the world rankings will be split into 16 groups of four instead of the traditional straight knockout.

Group matches will be played on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and the winner of each group advances to the last 16 on Saturday morning, with the quarter-finals on Saturday afternoon.

The semi-finals will then take place on Sunday morning with the final and a consolation match later the same day.

Finchem confirmed that a title sponsor would be revealed at a later date, while he is also delighted to see the venue hosting the 2020 PGA Championship and the 2025 Presidents Cup.

The final major of the year has not taken place on the west coast of the United States since 1998, when Vijay Singh collected the first of his three major titles at Sahalee Country Club in Seattle.

But the PGA Championship will become the first major to be held at a TPC course in 2020, while the Presidents Cup returns to the San Francisco for the second time.

TPC Harding Park first staged the Presidents Cup in 2009, when Tiger Woods holed the winning putt at the USA cruised to a five-point victory over the Internationals.

Bishop said: "The PGA of America is proud to be taking its major championship in 2020 to the city of San Francisco, home to one of the premier venues that embraces public golf along with the skill to stage some of the game's greatest events.

"It is exciting to be sharing today's announcement with the PGA Tour and the city of San Francisco. Together, we look to grow the game among new audiences and present the finest championships for the greatest players in the world."

Finchem added: \"This announcement marks an exciting chapter in the history of The Presidents Cup and the World Golf Championships.

\"Not only are we returning to TPC Harding Park, which was a spectacular and hugely successful venue for The Presidents Cup 2009 and a World Golf Championships in 2005, but we are also furthering this historic and important partnership with the City and County of San Francisco.