It’s truly amazing how each year with 156 players in the field that the schedule here at the NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championship seems to stay on track. There is very little room for stoppages in play.
It reminds me a bit of when I used to go to the circus as a kid and watching the clown up on the high wire, riding the unicycle and juggling the bowling pins. Amazingly, he never falls or drops a pin. The clown stayed on the bike and it always worked out well. But, the law of averages tells us that at some point we are going to have a real problem.
Late Thursday evening it looked as if the bowling pins may drop.
With BYU in the field for the first time since 2006, the Cougars create a bit of a scheduling issue. BYU is not permitted to play on Sundays according to the school’s relgious beliefs.
To accommodate, BYU was scheduled to play its third round following the practice round on Thursday afternoon. However, before all five BYU players could get started, inclement weather showed up here at Karsten Creek forcing play to be suspended. BYU did get back on the course and was able to get to enough holes in to allow them to finish their third round early today. The situation is not something that many are keen on and can create advantages or disadvantages. It turns out with how things played out it may have been a disadvantage. The Cougars posted a 24-over 312, their second highest 18-hole round of the year.
With the NCAA men’s golf championship committee making the decision to switch BYU’s tee times for the first two rounds to a late/early start, it should allow them to complete all three rounds before Sunday. The other 29 teams in the field are scheduled to play their third round that day.
Not every team finished played today, but it appears the championship can get back on schedule.
The first round will resume play at 7 a.m. Saturday and the plan is to start the second round at 8 a.m. off of No. 1 and 8:22 a.m. off of No. 10. BYU will play early on Saturday.
If all goes well, the field will be very close to completing the second round on Saturday and BYU should have no issues. The forecast looks as if it will cooperate.
Seedings for the NCAA championship were computed using the national rankings which would have had BYU in an early/late slot. The committee’s move to switch BYU is turning out to be brilliant. Also worth noting is Kansas is in the better half due to an exception in the rule allowing a regional winner to be bumped into the top half if their ranking said otherwise.
Once again here at the NCAA finals it looks like the clown will navigate his way across the high wire with maybe just a bit of a backwards stutter move.