|History: World Golf Championships|
The first three jointly sanctioned championships—the Accenture Match Play Championship (now Dell Technologies Match Play), the NEC Invitational (now FedEx St. Jude Invitational) and the American Express Championship (now Mexico Championship)—were launched in 1999 with Jeff Maggert winning the first event and Tiger Woods the latter two. The addition of the World Cup was announced in December 1999 and was played as a World Golf Championships event from 2000-06. The 2008 season marked the 10th year of the World Golf Championships, and the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions in Shanghai, China, was added to the series in 2009.
The World Golf Championships’ events feature players from around the world competing in varied formats. World Golf Championships’ events have been contested on five continents and in 10 countries and feature some of the largest purses in professional golf. The Asian Tour joined the International Federation of PGA Tours as a full-fledged member in November 1999, while the Canadian Tour was named an associate member in March 2000. The Tour de las Americas joined the Federation as an associate member in 2007. In step with global growth of professional golf, the International Federation of PGA Tours announced an expansion and restructuring of its membership in June 2009 to include additional professional golf tours, including—for the first time—women’s golf tours. As part of the restructure, the Canadian Tour and the Tour de las Americas became part of the full-fledged membership, and the following professional golf organizations became members of the International Federation of PGA Tours: China Golf Association; Korea Professional Golf Tour Corp.; Professional Golf Tour of India; LPGA Tour; Ladies European Tour; Australian Ladies Professional Golf Tour; Japan LPGA; Korean LPGA; Ladies Asian Golf Tour.
The operational aspects of the World Golf Championships continue to be overseen by a committee composed of the original members of the Federation (Asian Tour, European Tour, Japan Golf Tour Organization, PGA TOUR, PGA Tour of Australasia and the Sunshine Tour).
Grupo Salinas, Dell Technologies, FedEx and HSBC are the umbrella sponsors of the World Golf Championships. Rolex is the official sponsor. Fields for the World Golf Championships are filled primarily through the Official World Golf Ranking, which is endorsed by all the sport’s major professional organizations and governing bodies, and individual Tours’ tournament winners as well as leaders of Tours’ official money lists/orders of merit.
2018 World Golf Championships