14 European Tour Members - Thomas Björn, Angel Cabrera, Michael Campbell, Darren Clarke, Ernie Els, Sergio Garcia, Retief Goosen, Padraig Harrington, Miguel Angel Jiménez, Bernhard Langer, Paul Lawrie, Colin Montgomerie, José Maria Olazábal and Lee Westwood - will lead the European Tour challenge in the World Golf Championships- Andersen Consulting Matchplay Championship, to be played at La Costa Resort and Spa, Carlsbad, February 23-27.
The WGC - Andersen Consulting Matchplay Championship is the first of the World Golf Championships of the 2000 season and will feature the top available 64 players in the Official World Golf Ranking. This year players from 18 countries will be represented in a truly international field.
Last year Björn, Langer, Olazábal, Eduardo Romero and Patrik Sjöland led the European Tour's challenge. Olazábal and Romero showed great steel and courage to reach the quarter-finals and Langer reached the third round. The first Andersen Consulting Match Play Championship was won by Jeff Maggert when he produced a dramatic chip-in at the second extra-hole against fellow American Andrew Magee.
In the other two World Golf Championships in 1999 - the NEC Invitational and the American Express Championship - Tiger Woods triumphed on both occasions but was pushed all the way by European Tour Members. At Firestone Country Club, Garcia challenged throughout the four days until finally losing the battle at the 70th hole. At Valderrama, Jiménez took Woods all the way to a sudden-death play-off and was defeated only when the American rolled in a 12 foot birdie putt at the first extra hole.WGC - Andersen Consulting Match Play Championship Draw