Florida State's inaugural Match Up introduces unique format

Florida State's Jessica Negron gets a high-five during the 2011 NCAA East Regional.

Florida State's Jessica Negron gets a high-five during the 2011 NCAA East Regional.

Few college coaches kick tradition when it’s time to host an event. It’s why Florida State’s tournament could be a breath of fresh air.

The field

Florida State/Texas A&M

Oklahoma/Georgia

Notre Dame/Michigan

Tennessee/Texas San Antonio

Furman/Kansas

UNC Greensboro/UNC Wilmington

Third-year Florida State coach Amy Bond decided more than a year ago that she wanted to create a different kind of event, but she wasn’t sure exactly what the format would be. She had commitments by the summer of 2012, but it wasn’t until a recruiting trip to Europe later that summer that she created what would become known as the Match Up. t will be played Feb. 15-17 at Southwood Golf Club in Tallahassee, Fla.

Bond was having a conversation with a handful of colleagues and decided on a count-five format that would make every stroke matter.

The Match Up will feature 12 teams, and each team has a partner (Bond originally sent invitations to five teams, and allowed each to choose its own partner). Partner teams will be paired together for the first two rounds, and players will play in twosomes. Pairings will be reshuffled for the final round.

Of the 10 players on each team, only five scores will count – the best four and the worst score.

“In this kind of format, they better be fighting for every last shot,” Bond said. It provides extra motivation for the No. 4 and 5 players on a team, because everyone will know who shot the highest score.

Originally, Bond had planned to have teams made up of in-state rivals paired together. In a few states, however, schools aren’t allowed to do that. It’s why Bond decided to let teams to choose their own partners. It allows teams to be paired with teams they might not otherwise see during the regular season.

“It’s been very well received,” Bond said of the event.

Bond will present three trophies at the Match Up: one to the individual winner, one to the single team winner in the traditional play-five-count-four format and one to the pair of teams with the lowest match-up score.

“We’re doing a tournament on top of a tournament,” Bond said.

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