The Forecaddie: Big 12 coaches excited about new match-play event

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The Forecaddie: Big 12 coaches excited about new match-play event

Forecaddie

The Forecaddie: Big 12 coaches excited about new match-play event

The Big 12 Conference is getting a regular-season match-play event beginning this fall.

The Forecaddie came across the news at this week’s NCAA Championship at Karsten Creek, and some coaches are excited for another opportunity to play the format, which has decided the NCAA national team champion every year since 2009. The inaugural event will be held Oct. 12-14 at The Golf Club at Houston Oaks in Houston.

“We’ve been working and talking about this for a couple years now, and we were fortunate enough to find a golf course that was really, really excited about hosting just north of Houston,” Oklahoma head coach Ryan Hybl said. “It’s going to be a lot of golf, but it’s match play, and our kids will be very, very excited. But that was part of the plan was to allow our kids to get that experience.”

Just three conferences, including the SEC, already use match play to decide their conference champion in the spring, and The Man Out Front hears the Ohio Valley Conference is joining that group. The Big 12 will still hold its 72-hole stroke-play championship next spring, but its new match-play event joins a small-but-growing list of regular-season match-play events, including the East Lake Cup, Big Ten Match Play and the Gifford Collegiate.

“Our conference has got a chance to be a leader,” Oklahoma State head coach Alan Bratton said. “I don’t think there’s any doubt, certainly won’t get any argument from anyone here that we have the best conference championship. … So we talked about trying to do the same thing, be a leader, do something different, and maybe we can capture some excitement from our fans in and around the country.”

The exact format of the event is unclear, but there will be two pools, giving teams more opportunity to play.

“We’ll actually get more rounds of golf in than we would at a regular stroke-play event,” Bratton said. “We’re excited for that, and I think it’s going to be great for our conference and give our conference a chance to continue to lead as hopefully the best golf conference in the country.”

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