AUBURN, Ala. – BYU could throw a wrinkle into next week’s NCAA Championship.
Through two rounds at the Auburn regional, the Cougars are tied for fifth at 17-over 593. The low five teams after Saturday’s final round advance to the May 23-28 NCAA Championship.
If BYU can finish inside the top five and clinch its first NCAA finals berth since the 2005-06 season, it figures to be an interesting return to the biggest stage in college golf.
The three-round stroke-play qualifier for the NCAA Championship runs next Friday-Sunday. As a Mormon-run school, BYU doesn’t play any games on Sunday, in any sport.
Both BYU coach Bruce Brockbank and the NCAA confirmed Friday that a contingency plan was in place that would allow the Cougars to complete the 54-hole qualifier and not tee it up on Sunday, but neither party was willing to divulge that plan until after the third round here.
Seemingly the only option would be for the Cougars to play 18 holes on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at Prairie Dunes. Thursday is scheduled to be a practice-round day for the rest of the 30-team field, and it could pose a competition issue if the conditions are either more favorable or more difficult for BYU.
“It’s going to be interesting to see what they do,” said Brockbank, one of the coaches on the NCAA golf committee. “They have a plan. If we get into the field they have a plan for us to play the championship. When we get there they’ll make the announcement.”