Like: The changes in the format of the Division 1 NCAA Men’s Golf Championship, which begins today at Prairie Dunes CC in Hutchinson, KS. Basically, there used to be a 54-hole stroke-play qualifying that determined both the individual champion and the eight teams that would proceed into match play. Now, a fourth round of stroke play has been added for the the low 40 scorers, to determine the individual winner. Then the match play begins. I also like the fact that for the first time in 14 years, it will be televised, thanks to a deal between the NCAA and Golf Channel.
Don’t Like: The schedule. First, it will force a few players to go seven rounds in six days—four days of stroke play followed by three rounds of match play, including both the quarterfinal and semi-finals on the same day. That’s a lot of high-pressure golf, even for college kids, and it may make for some shaky play in the final stages. Second, the reason for all this seems to be to allow Golf Channel to get its college coverage out of the way Monday through Wednesday so it doesn’t impact on the broadcast of the PGA Tour. Couldn’t they have found a way to show it from Friday through Sunday, as the lead-in to The Memorial?