The WGC Match Play Championship format fell out of favor in professional individual golf tournaments with the growth of television. The two major match play tournaments in the pre TV era were the PGA Championship, which converted to stroke play format in 1958, and the British PGA Matchplay Championship which faced a slow decline after the introduction of the British PGA Championship in 1955 (which had a stroke play format), and eventually became defunct in 1979.
Match play became mainly associated with amateur golf tournaments, and team tournaments such as the Ryder Cup. Match Play means that the game played by holes instead of by strokes. The field will be divided into 16 four-player groups. Players position on the Official World Rankings will determined the assigned seed number for the competition.
Despite not being popular with television companies, and often requiring more rounds to be played by a player than a stroke play event, the format was still respected as offering a different challenge than stroke play.
At the end of the 1990s, there were two significant unofficial match play tournaments, the relatively new Andersen Consulting World Championship of Golf, which had a 32-man field with the finals played in Arizona, and the much older World Match Play Championship, which had a field of 16 players or less and was played in England.
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