The World Golf Championships (WGC) are a group of four annual events for professional golfers created by the International Federation of PGA Tours. All four WGC tournaments are official money events on the PGA Tour, European Tour, and the Japan Golf Tour, and officially sanctioned by the Asian Tour, Sunshine Tour, and PGA Tour of Australasia.
All four WGC events offer comparable prize money to the major championships. In the pantheon of golf events, some rank WGCs immediately below the major championships and above all other competitions; however, others would put The Players Championship, the so-called "Fifth Major," above WGC events. The winner of a WGC event earns a three-year PGA Tour exemption.
|WGC-Mexico Championship (1999–)||Stroke play|
|WGC-Dell Match Play (1999–)||Match play|
|WGC-Bridgestone Invitational (1999–)||Stroke play|
|WGC-HSBC Champions (2009–)||Stroke play|
The first three events all began in 1999, although the Bridgestone Invitational is the direct successor of the World Series of Golf, which began in 1976 and the Match Play Championship is a direct successor to the Andersen Consulting World Championship of Golf which began in 1995.
The Cadillac Championship originally traveled to different venues around the world. After 2006 it superseded the Doral Open, a long-standing event at the Doral Resort in Florida.
In April 2011, the Sunshine Tour announced that it would host a fifth WGC event. The event, to be known as the Tournament of Hope, was to be linked to awareness of poverty and HIV/AIDS in Africa. In early 2012 it was announced that the tournament would be played in 2013; later in 2012 it was announced that the tournament would not be a WGC event, but ultimately the tournament never took place.
The WGC concept was introduced to create a larger group of golf tournaments with a high global profile by bringing the leading golfers from different tours together on a more regular basis, rather than just for the major championships. At the time the publicity spoke of a "World Tour" which might develop on the basis of the World Championships and the majors.
The "World Tour" concept seems to have been dropped, but the four events usually attract almost all of the elite players who are eligible to compete and they rank among the most prestigious and high-profile events outside of the majors. The prize money on offer is very close to being the highest for any professional golf tournament. Winners generally receive 70 to 78 Official World Golf Rankings points, the most awarded for any tournament apart from the major championships, which carry 100 points, and The Players Championship, which is allocated 80. Tiger Woods has dominated these tournaments, winning 16 of the first 32 individual (non-World Cup) events and winning at least one event each year from 1999 to 2009.
From 2000 to 2006 the men's golf World Cup, a tournament for teams of two players representing their country, was a World Golf Championship event, although it was not an official money event on any tour. Beginning in 2007 it is no longer part of the World Golf Championships, but it is still played, and is currently known as the Mission Hills World Cup.
Also from 2000 to 2006, two or three of the four events were staged in the United States in most of the years, and one or two were staged elsewhere. Starting in 2007, all three of the individual World Golf Championships events were played in the United States, which attracted criticism from some golfers, including Tiger Woods and Ernie Els, and in the media outside the United States. PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem responded by insisting that playing in the U.S is best for golf as more money can be made there than elsewhere. This criticism has been muted since the 2009 elevation of the HSBC Champions, held in China, to full WGC status. In addition, the WGC-Mexico Championship in 2017 marked the move of half the WGC events to outside the United States.
The winners receive Wedgwood trophies named for a golf legend. The HSBC Champions features The Old Tom Morris Cup; the Dell Match Play Championship, The Walter Hagen Cup; the Mexico Championship, The Gene Sarazen Cup; and the Bridgestone Invitational, The Gary Player Cup.
1 The 2016 Invitational was not co-sanctioned with the European Tour.
Dustin Johnson is the only player to win all four WGCs. Tiger Woods' 18 WGC victories dwarfs his nearest rival, Johnson, with six. Although not counting as individual wins, Woods also won the then WGC-World Cup with the United States, and 2-time WGC winner Ernie Els won the same competition with South Africa.
|Tiger Woods||United States||18||3: 2003, 2004, 2008||7: 1999, 2002, 2003,
2005, 2006, 2007, 2013
|8: 1999, 2000, 2001, 2005,
2006, 2007, 2009, 2013
|Dustin Johnson||United States||6||1: 2017||3: 2015, 2017, 2019||1: 2016||1: 2013|
|Phil Mickelson||United States||3||—||2: 2009, 2018||—||1: 2009|
|Geoff Ogilvy||Australia||3||2: 2006, 2009||1: 2008||—||—|
|Darren Clarke||Northern Ireland||2||1: 2000||—||1: 2003||—|
|Jason Day||Australia||2||2: 2014, 2016||—||—||—|
|Ernie Els||South Africa||2||—||2: 2004, 2010||—||—|
|Hunter Mahan||United States||2||1: 2012||—||1: 2010||—|
|Hideki Matsuyama||Japan||2||—||—||1: 2017||1: 2016|
|Rory McIlroy||Northern Ireland||2||1: 2015||—||1: 2014||—|
|Ian Poulter||England||2||1: 2010||—||—||1: 2012|
|Justin Rose||England||2||—||1: 2012||—||1: 2017|
|Adam Scott||Australia||2||—||1: 2016||1: 2011||—|
|Bubba Watson||United States||2||1: 2018||—||—||1: 2014|
- Note: The World Cup did not count as individual wins, so it is not mentioned here as a part of this table.
|Nation||Total wins||Team wins||Individual wins||Individual winners|
Notes and references
- "Asian event joins elite WGC list". BBC Sport. 28 April 2009. Retrieved 28 April 2009.
- "Sunshine Tour announces major coup for SA golf" (Press release). Sunshine Tour. 12 April 2011. Retrieved 15 April 2011.
- "Tournament of Hope in South Africa to join World Golf Championships". PGA of America. Associated Press. Retrieved 2 March 2012.
- "South Africa to host $8.5M event". ESPN. Associated Press. 2 October 2012. Retrieved 3 October 2012.
- Prior to 2007, the official points allocations were half of these values, but points won in the current year were given a weighting of 2 in the ranking calculation. The system was revised in 2007, so that points are now given an initial weighting of 1, which then tapers to zero over a two-year period starting 13 weeks after the award.
- PGA Tour chief defends US dates
- "Mickelson Unveils New WGC-HSBC Champions Trophy". Asian Tour. 12 October 2010. Retrieved 28 October 2017.