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Rick Nixon | | August 4, 2014

Tweaks recommended to 2015 championships

The NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Golf committees are recommending an adjustment to the format for the 2015 championship finals site. The change would replace the individuals-only day on Monday with play by the top 15 teams and nine individuals not on one of the advancing teams.

The recommendation will need approval by the Division I Championships/Sports Management Cabinet at its next meeting Sept. 9. 

“The revised format adds excitement to the championship by televising the ‘Race to the Eight,’ which was so popular with the national viewers this year, while maintaining the 72-hole stroke play format for determining the individual champion,” said Mike Carter, chair of the Division I Men’s Golf Committee and director of athletics at Oral Roberts.

“Monday’s play with the top-15 teams and nine individuals not on those teams provides greater  exposure for more institutions and student- athletes. This format also provides the greatest flexibility to assure that the eight match play teams will be determined by at least 54 holes of competition.”

The recommendation is for the 2015 finals format for both championships to consist of three days (54 holes) of stroke play on a Friday through Sunday, after which the top 15 teams and nine individuals not on an advancing team will be determined.

The weekend would be followed by a final day of 18 holes of stroke play on a Monday, which would determine the top eight teams that advance to match play as well as the 72-hole individual champion.

The team national champion would be determined by a match-play format consisting of quarterfinals and semifinals conducted on Tuesday of championships week, followed by the finals Wednesday.

In 2015, both the women’s championship, scheduled for May 22-27, and men’s championship, scheduled for May 29-June 3, will be played at The Concession Golf Club in Bradenton, Florida. The Golf Channel will televise both championships for the first time.

“The women’s committee believes adjusting the original format change for the 2015 championship was the best thing to do toward achieving the intended outcome of highlighting the excitement of college team golf,” said Theresa Becker, chair of the Division I Women’s Golf Committee and associate athletics director at Kansas.

“The 72-hole stroke-play format will be maintained for determining the individual champion, but the greater emphasis will be placed on team competition and advancing to the two-day match-play format. This will add tremendous excitement to the championship and will certainly present greater opportunities for Golf Channel to showcase our student-athletes and coaches.”

The recommended adjustments to the finals competition schedule are noted in bold:
• Wednesday -- Teams arrive.
• Thursday -- Practice round.
• Friday -- First day of stroke play competition (18 holes).
• Saturday -- Second day of stroke play competition (18 holes).
Sunday -- Third day of stroke play competition (18 holes); to determine the top 15 teams along with the top nine individuals not on an advancing team for final 18 holes of stroke-play competition.
Monday -- Final round of stroke-play competition; to determine the top eight teams for match-play competition and 72-hole individual champion crowned.
• Tuesday -- Quarterfinals and semifinals of team match play.
• Wednesday -- Championship match to determine team champion.

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