FRANKLIN, Tenn. – The 20th annual Tennessee Match Play championship will have a completely new look to it when it takes place July 7-10 at the Lookout Mountain Club.
The Men’s Competitions Committee of the Tennessee Golf Association voted during its annual year-end meeting to adopt the format used by the PGA Tour for the World Golf Championships Match Play tournament.
Under this format, a field of 64 players will be divided into 16 groups of four players each. Each group will play a round-robin format with each competitor playing three matches within their group. A player will receive one point for a win, a half point for a tie, and each group’s winner will advance to the round of 16.
Tennessee Golf Association executive director Chad Anderson believes this new format will be a much better experience for the player, as opposed to the old format.
In years past in the Tennessee Match Play, competitors played two rounds of stroke play with the top 16 advancing to the match play bracket. With a 120-player field, only 13 percent of the field actually got to play the match play format. Now all 64 players are guaranteed three matches.
“I think this will be the most fun and anticipated event on the calendar in years to come,” Anderson said. “Under the old format, there were only a total of 15 matches played to determine the Tennessee Match Play champion. Now there will be 111. We are excited about this and believe our players will enjoy it as well.”
There will be a number of exemptions used to start filling out the 64-player field. Some of those include: TGA champions from the previous year, players who advanced to the quarterfinals of the previous year’s Tennessee Match Play, Tennessee Challenge Cup members from the previous year.
The rest of the field will be determined through qualifiers, which will be held across the state prior to the 2020 Tennessee Match Play tournament.
Once the field is determined, the 16 four-player groups will be set randomly.
Each player will play two matches on the opening round of the tournament (July 7) and the third match within their group on July 8. The round of 16 and quarterfinal matches will be played on July 9, with the semifinal and championship matches taking place on July 10.
Lipscomb University golfer Connor McKay was the 2019 Tennessee Match Play champion at Oak Ridge Country Club.
This year, the championship moves to Lookout Mountain and the unique Lookout Mountain Club. Built in 1925, the 18-hole championship course was designed by renowned golf course architect Seth Raynor. It is on of only 30 remaining courses in America designed by Raynor.