The Loop

72 holes, not 54, to crown '08 NCAA medalist

January 14, 2008

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLA.--The more than 100 individuals attending the Golf Coaches Association of America's annual convention who participated in this afternoon's Division I break-out session at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort were the first to learn that the NCAA men's golf committee's plan to crown an individual champion after 54 holes will not go info effect during this May's NCAA Championship at Purdue's Kampen Course as previously hoped. Instead, the individual medalist again will be determined after 72 holes.

According to NCAA assistant director for championships Donnie Wagner, who helped lead the break-out session, an administrative committee within the NCAA denied the change for the 2008 national championship. Wagner said the committee's preference was to implemented it at the same time as proposed changes for determining a team champion that are scheduled to take effect in the 2008-09 season. The NCAA Championships Cabinet has approved use of a medal/match-play format to crown the NCAA team winner as well as completing the individual competition after 54 holes.

"They just wanted everything to be put in place in 2009 rather than rolling things out," Wagner said.

The announcement proceeded another lengthy conversation regarding new rules that have been implemented in the past year or are set for implementation in the coming months. Most notable was discussion of the ".500 rule," which requires a team to have at least a 50-percent winning percentage for the entire season, including their conference championship, to be eligible for selection as an at-large team into NCAA regionals. Several coaches made arguments for and against, but a straw-poll vote of those in attendance showed a majority (75 to 30)want to keep the rule, approved only last year, in place at least to let it play out in its first season of existence.