HSBC Women’s Match Play Championship

imageOverlooked by much of the press in their Open Championship frenzy, the HSBC Women’s Match Play Championship takes place this week at Wykagyl CC in New Rochelle, New York.

The tournament features 64 of the world’s top women players in 18 hole elimination match play rounds. The tournament has a $2 million purse, with the winner taking $500,000.

Th HSBC is a relatively new tournament, first held in 2005 at Hamilton Farm Golf Club in Gladstone, New Jersey. The title was won by Columnia’s Marisa Baena.

The sixty four are selected from 6 qualifying pools.: 1) the top 30 players in the Rolex Rankings through the US Womens’ Open; 2) the top 30 on the women’s money list; 3) the number one ranked player on the LET Order of Merit; 4) the defending champion if not otherwise selected; 5) two sponsors exemptions, and then 6) players from the rest of the money list to fill in the remaining spots. That creates a pretty strong field.

The Golf Channel will broadcast the 64-player event Thursday and Friday from 2-4 p.m. (EDT) while CBS will pick up coverage on the weekend, from 3-5 p.m. (EDT) Saturday and 4-6 p.m. (EDT) Sunday.

Match play is, for my money, the way golf ought to be played. While medal play is good for television, nothing beats match play for tension and excitement.

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