For the second straight day, no golf will be played at the NCAA Division I women’s golf regional in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. And unfortunately, tough decisions will now have to be made.
As rain continued to fall on the University Club on Tuesday, tournament officials called play for the day shortly before 1 p.m. ET because of "extreme weather and poor course conditions." A day earlier they had made a similar call around 1 p.m. ET.
The updated plan is to finally begin the first round with an 18-team shotgun start at 11 a.m. ET Wednesday and try to at least get in 18 holes.
According to the NCAA manual, regional competition cannot extend past Wednesday, and if 18 holes is not completed by the deadline then the six team and three individual qualifiers for next week's NCAA Championship in Scottsdale, Arizona, will be determined by “original seeding of teams used for selection to the championships.”
Fourth-ranked LSU is the host and top seed, followed in seeding by, in order, Ole Miss, Baylor, Oregon, Maryland and Alabama. Oregon State is the seventh seed, meaning if one round is not competed on Wednesday the Beavers would be the first team out of a finals berth, followed by Houston, Miami and North Texas.
"It’s a very unfortunate situation," said one coach outside the top six seeds. "Eighteen holes is never how you want to impact and determine any championship. We’ll take what we can get, though. No golf at all this week means that the COVID seniors had last year ripped away from them and then again are having their careers shortened by something they had no influence on.
"That would be a heartbreaking conclusion to this year for the seniors who were expecting to get their last postseason. I really hope we can play."
Any decision, per the manual, will be made by NCAA representatives, not the host school.
"The NCAA representatives along with the games committee will have the option of modifying pairings for the weather, which may include making a cut to the field," the manual reads. "In the event of unplayable weather or course conditions, the NCAA representatives shall determine whether a round will be canceled or subsequently continued."
One coach inside the top six seeds said 18 holes to decide who gets to go to the NCAA Championship and who doesn't would be a "travesty," especially in less-than-ideal playing conditions.
"I feel confident in the seeding and we deserve it," said the coach. "If we go out and play an unplayable golf course – some people are talking about taking drops out of bunkers – I just don't think it would be fair. At the end of the day, if we only play 18 holes, anything can happen."