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The Loop

Coaches to pick match-play lineups at NCAAs

Giving college coaches' more opportunity to, well, actually coach is why many advocated changing how a team's lineup gets chosen during the match-play portion of the NCAA Championship. Rather than use the Golfstat player ranking to determine the order of a team's players, as has been the case since the return of match play in 2009, why not let the coaches pick the order, as is the case at the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup, to add a layer of strategy into the process?

Having debated the matter since adding the match-play format to the championship, the NCAA Division I men's golf committee has approved the change effect for this year's national championship at Riviera CC outside Los Angeles.

The process will follow the method employed at the Presidents Cup. The higher seeded team (as determined through the 54-hole stroke-play portion of the championship) will have the first choice of putting a player on the board for Match No. 1. The opposing team will then name an opponent for that match, followed by a player for Match No. 2. The process will continue on an alternating "S" curve until the players for all five matches are named. (The higher seeded team may defer with the first pick, letting the other team begin the selection process.)

Pairings for the quarterfinals will be determined following the 54-hole stroke-play competition. Pairings for the semifinals and finals will be determined following the completion of the preceding round.