Sometimes college golf puzzles me
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
A little more than a week ago, Colorado State won the Del Walker hosted by Long Beach State. It was the Rams’ third consecutive victory at this event. After looking at the scores, I was reminded of something that has always puzzled me with college golf.
This event used a different format. Each team played six players, with the five best scores counting. This is legal and counts as an official event.
How can this be? If teams were to play 6-count-5 all season long, we would see different results and certainly have different rankings. I have said for two years now that match play is even worse than using one more player and counting one more score. When you play team match play, you have an entirely different style of play, and the rankings, which are used to get into the postseason, would be drastically different if match play were the preferred format of play.
And then there's this: While the 6-count-5 format is allowed on the men’s side, it’s not permissible on the women’s side. The Big Ten Women’s Championship and a few select tournaments during the season use this format. However, the NCAA Women’s Committee made the decision years ago that it would not allow this format to be counted toward official results. Therefore, before the start of the event, the coach must designate a player to be the non-counter when the scores are submitted. That is why you will often see a different winner on the scoreboard at the event and a different winner in the official results.
All of this brings me to this: College golf has the power to allow these sort of format changes and to think that it makes sense in the big picture when it clearly does not.
Why stop there? A few weeks ago, Ohio State sophomore Allie White was disqualified after she signed an incorrect scorecard. In my opinion, the punishment clearly did not fit the crime. Why can’t the correct score be figured and add a two-stroke penalty? There are many other things in college golf where the rules of golf have been tweaked to fit college golf’s ways.
Bottom line: You won’t turn on the television this weekend and see the football game with Vanderbilt and Florida playing five quarters. You won’t see Oregon and Stanford playing 8-on-8. The same with basketball this winter or baseball or softball next spring. And for sure you won’t see the NCAA championships in these sports change.
Picture this . . . Welcome to the Final Four, where tonight’s semifinal games will be a series of one-on-one matchups to determine who will meet in the national championship Monday night.