Match play is coming to women’s college golf.
Beginning in 2015, the NCAA Women’s Championship will look identical to the men’s format. The change was approved Wednesday by the Division I Championships/Sports Management Cabinet.
Currently, the women’s team and individual champion is determined after 72 holes of stroke play. In 2015 – when the NCAA Championships are held in back-to-back weeks at Concession Golf Club in Bradenton, Fla. – here is how the format will look for both the men and women:
Thursday: Practice round
Friday: First day of competition (18 holes)
Saturday: Second day of competition (18 holes)
Sunday: Third day of competition (18 holes); top eight teams advance to match-play portion of championship
Monday: Final day of individual competition (18 holes) for the low 36 players and ties
Tuesday: Quarterfinals and semifinals of team match play
Wednesday: Championship match
This is the first year that the men will follow this format for nationals. Match play was implemented in 2009, but their individual champion was determined after 54 holes.
Both 2015 championships will be broadcast on Golf Channel. For the women, it marks the first time since 2005 that their championship will air live on television.
The 2014 women’s nationals – the final one with a 72-hole stroke-play tournament – will be held May 20-23 at Tulsa (Okla.) Country Club.