A Nice Change of Pace


As I head to Myrtle Beach, S.C. this coming weekend for the unofficial close to the fall season, I am looking forward to the Hooters Collegiate Match Play Championships. I say this with many different reasons in mind.
First, it is a rarity for the men and women to play in the same town at the same venue. So from a personal standpoint, I feel as though I am ahead of the game as the fall winds down. But now to the nuts and bolts of match play.
Sixteen of the top mens and womens teams will converge at the Barefoot Resort to battle it out until one team from each is left standing. Match play is a format which is rarely seen in the college game, so with that in mind, it should prove to be a unique week of golf. But remember, many of these players have excelled during the summer months at the U.S. Amateur and other similar events, so it will not be foreign to many of those participating.
Match play also lends itself to a different, more aggressive approach to a round of golf. Birdies should be more plentiful, but with this attacking style, big numbers may also be more common.
Five players will tee it up for each team, with a point available in each match. So next week should provide intense battles in each and every match, with the status of each one fluctuating several times during the course of 18 holes.
Many golf fans say the Ryder cup or like events are the most exciting golf they will ever watch. If this is any indication, the Hooters Match Play should prove to be just as good. But the question I ask myself, will this format lend itself to the best teams winning? Only time will tell, but in my opinion good golfers and great teams usually take care of business no matter what format they are playing. Keep in mind though, upsets tend to happen with this type of event.
The consensus among the players and coaches is this is an exciting event which happens at a good time during the course of a college season. That being said, dont expect to see an infusion of more match play events any time soon. Stroke play has been king in the college game for years, and with many aspiring to go the next level, stroke play will continue to be the way they go. Taking all this into account, next week in Myrtle Beach should prove to be a nice change of pace.