MILTON, Ga. – The format of the NCAA Championship could change as soon as next year. The NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championship Committee has made a recommendation that will go before the Division I Championship/Sports Management Cabinet in two weeks.
The committee’s recommendation for the 2014 championship, to be played at Prairie Dunes Country Club in Hutchinson, Kan., is twofold. The committee is lobbying to bring back 72 holes of stroke play to determine the individual champion, the number of holes played before match play was added in 2009. As it is, the championship includes just 54 holes of stroke play.
The second part of the committee’s recommendation would change the format of the championship to allow for a Wednesday finish. Stroke play would end on a Monday, but only the top 40 players and ties would play that day to put more emphasis on the individual championship. This would kick off three days of TV coverage.
The match play bracket would still be decided after 54 holes, and the quarterfinals and semifinals would take place on Tuesday. As it stands now, stroke play ends on Thursday, quarterfinals are played Friday, semifinals are played Saturday and the match-play final is Sunday. This change would be made so that the television broadcast, to begin in 2014, would not compete with weekend PGA Tour coverage.
If the Sports Management Cabinet approves this proposal, a practice round would be played on Thursday and stroke play would begin on Friday. Eight teams still would advance to match play.