Women gain match play at '15 NCAAs, 4th regional
Postseason changes are on the way for the NCAA Division I women’s tournament after proposals from the Women’s Golf Committee were approved.
The national championship will include match play beginning in 2015, when Golf Channel begins its live broadcast of the event, but the format remains under discussion.
The Division I/Sports Management Cabinet has asked the Women’s Golf Committee to gather more coaches’ feedback on a championship format that includes stroke play and match play. The original suggestion called for 54 holes to determine the eight match-play teams, with 18 more holes of stroke play the next day (for the top 36 players and ties) to crown the individual champion. Match-play quarterfinals and semifinals would take place on the fifth day, followed by the championship match on the sixth day.
“The committee is pleased that the Division I Championships/Sport’s Management Cabinet approved the recommendations we put forward, including support for the change in format to stroke play/match play beginning in 2015,” said Theresa Becker, chair of the Division I Women’s Golf Committee and associate athletics director at the University of Kansas. “We believe these changes will enhance the overall experience for our student-athletes and coaches as well as bring a new level of excitement for everyone involved with the women’s golf championship, even the fans. The committee will continue to communicate with the coaching community as we prepare the final recommendation for the cabinet meeting in February. Our coaches recognize and appreciate this tremendous opportunity with the Golf Channel partnership, so it is important that we continue to receive their input and thoughts.”
A date-formula change means the NCAAs will run from Friday (typically the third in May) to midweek. A fourth NCAA regional site will be added in 2015, with 18 teams and six individuals (down from 24 teams) at each site. The top six teams and three individuals on a non-advancing team earning spots at the NCAAs.