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Greg Johnson | | February 12, 2014

National team champion to be determined by match play

The Division I Championships/Sports Management Cabinet approved the format that beginning in 2015 that will determine the individual and team champion for the Division I women’s Golf Championship.

The format still calls for the individual championship to follow a 72-hole, stroke-play structure. But now, after 54 holes of stroke play, only the low 36 players, including ties, will compete in the final 18 holes. The individual champion will be determined on the final day of stroke play.

The next two days of the championship will be reserved for match play to determine the team national champion. The quarterfinals and semifinals will be conducted the day after the individual champion is crowned. The team match play final will be played on the last day of the championship.

The approved format, which will include an adjustment to the current date formula, will follow the competition schedule as outlined:
• Thursday – practice round;
• Friday – first day of competition (18 holes);
• Saturday – second day of competition (18 holes);
• Sunday – third day of competition (18 holes); top eight teams determined for match- play competition;
• Monday – final individual day of 18 holes of stroke play for top 36 players and ties as determined by 54-hole scores;
• Tuesday – quarterfinals and semifinals of team match play;
• Wednesday – championship match to determine team national champion.

The championship currently is conducted in a four-day, 72-hole format, with the lowest scores used to determine the individual and team national champions.

Through a multi-year partnership with the NCAA, the Golf Channel is scheduled to air the 2014 NCAA Division I Men’s National Championships, and then air tournament action from both the NCAA Division I Women’s and Men’s Golf Championships beginning in 2015.

The 2015 women’s and men’s championships are scheduled to be contested on the same course starting in 2015: the Concession Golf Club in Bradenton, Fla., hosted by the University of South Florida. The 2015 championships will mark the first time since 2005 that the NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championships will air live on television. The men’s championship will begin after the women’s championship has concluded.

Additionally, the cabinet approved an adjustment to the regional date formula effective for the 2017 championships. Those dates will be adjusted to begin on the Monday-Wednesday, 11 days before the start of the national championships. A practice round will take place the day before the start of the regionals.

The selection date also will be adjusted starting in 2017, moving to. the last Thursday in April that is at least 10 days before the start of the regional competitions.

In recommending both adjustments for 2017, the committee noted that these changes will maintain a similar number of days between selections and the start of regional play. That timing is important, the committee acknowledged, because institutions pay their own way to regionals.

The new timing also will provide advancing teams and individuals about the same number of days off between regionals and finals.

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