Substitutions allowed during NCAA match play

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Substitutions are coming to college golf.

The NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Committee announced this week that substitutions will now be allowed during the match-play portion of the NCAA Championship, beginning this year. 

With this new rule, men's coaches can swap out a player before a match for any reason – injury, illness or performance.

“Committee members believe the new policy benefits the injured or sick golfer’s team, but it also would prevent the opposing golfer from having to sit out perhaps the most important match of his competitive career because of a forfeit,” the NCAA wrote in a statement. 

This change signifies a new chapter in college golf.

Last year, Haskins Award winner Beau Hossler of Texas was unable to compete in the championship match against Oregon because of a shoulder injury. The Longhorns lost the final, 3-2, after conceding Hossler’s point. Oregon senior Zach Foushee didn't hit a shot.

The proposal to allow substitutions was originally rejected in October, with the NCAA saying, “while the oversight committee received some support for the substitution concept in match-play competition, it didn’t support substitutions in the stroke-play portion of the championships.”

The revised proposal was approved this week in Nashville, Tenn.

At NCAAs, there are four rounds of stroke play, followed by a single-elimination match-play bracket for the top eight teams. 

Substitutions will not be allowed in stroke play – five players will compete, with the lowest four scores counting toward the team total. NCAA match play is a head-to-head, 5-on-5 format.