BRADENTON, Fla. – This is old hat for the men.
A week after women’s coaches sat in the hot seat and strategized over lineups for the match-play portion of the NCAA Championship for the first time, the men took center stage Monday and made selections for the seventh consecutive year.
Coaches from the top-eight teams sat in a room and manipulated their lineup to match their opponents, similar to the Presidents Cup. The coach for the higher-seeded team earned the option of going first or deferring, then one coach threw out a name for Match 1 and the opposing coach selected a candidate.
Mike Small, coach of top-seeded Illinois, was the only coach who threw out a name first and did not defer the first match. Small went with his top three players first – Thomas Detry, Brian Campbell, Charlie Danielson – and is throwing freshmen Dylan Meyer and Nick Hardy in the pressure cooker that comes with the final two spots of the lineup.
Georgia, Texas and Vanderbilt each saved its best players for the final position, a risky decision if the matches are decided before it gets to the anchor match. The Bulldogs are going with junior Lee McCoy last against South Florida and the Longhorns are saving sophomore Beau Hossler for the end against Southern Cal. Senior Hunter Stewart will go last in the Commodores match against LSU.
LSU put its best players first and fifth, South Florida stacked its three best players in the middle of the lineup at Nos. 2-4 and USC put its best two players at Nos. 2 and 4.
Here is a rundown of all the quarterfinal matches. Stroke-play seeding is in parenthesis. (The quarterfinals will be live on Golf Channel Tuesday at 10:30AM ET; semifinals will be at 3:30PM ET and the championship matches will be Wednesday at 3PM ET.)
First tee: Vanderbilt (2) vs. LSU (7)
7AM ET: Theo Humphrey (V) vs. Brandon Pierce
7:10AM: Matthias Schwab (V) vs. Benjamin Taylor
7:20AM: Carson Jacobs (V) vs. Zach Wright
7:30AM: Zack Jaworski (V) vs. Eric Ricard
7:40AM: Hunter Stewart (V) vs. Stewart Jolly
Note: Vanderbilt is ranked No. 5 by Golfstat, LSU is No. 7.
Tenth tee: Georgia (3) vs. South Florida (6)
7AM ET: Zach Healy (G) vs. Trey Valentine
7:10AM: Sepp Straka (G) vs. Chase Koepka
7:20AM: Greyson Sigg (G) vs. Rigel Fernandes
7:30AM: Mookie DeMoss (G) vs. Claudio Correa
7:40AM: Lee McCoy (G) vs. Ryan Fricker
Note: Georgia is ranked No. 33 by Golfstat, South Florida is No. 14.
First tee: Illinois (1) vs. UCLA (8)
7:50AM ET: Thomas Detry (I) vs. Manav Shah
8AM: Brian Campbell (I) vs. Jonathan Garrick
8:10AM: Charlie Danielson (I) vs. Jake Knapp
8:20AM: Dylan Meyer (I) vs. Lorens Chan
8:30AM: Nick Hardy (I) vs. Preston Valder
Note: Illinois is ranked No. 4 by Golfstat, UCLA is No. 17.
Tenth tee: Texas (4) vs. Southern Cal (5)
7:50AM ET: Kramer Hickok (T) vs. Bobby Gojuangco
8AM: Gavin Hall (T) vs. Sean Crocker
8:10AM: Scottie Scheffler (T) vs. Eric Sugimoto
8:20AM: Doug Ghim (T) vs. Rico Hoey
8:30AM: Beau Hossler (T) vs. Jonah Texeira
Note: Texas is ranked No. 2 by Golfstat, USC is No. 13.