With the NCAA Men's Championship at the Division I level successful shifted to a match-play format to determine a team winner, the Division II men's golf committee wants to make a similar move. The committee has forwarded to the D-II Championships Committee a proposal for the 2011 national championship that would follow the new the D-I format: three stroke-play rounds with the low eight teams advancing to a match-play bracket. An individual champion would also be named after the 54 stroke-play holes.
The championship would be a five-day event with the quarterfinals and semifinals of the match-play portion contested on one day. (The D-I championship was played this way last May but will be a six-day event beginning next year, with each round of match play being contested on one day.)
Committee members recommended the format change based on feedback from coaches, as well as reviewing the success of the format in Division I. Many in the golf community had argued that the previous four rounds of stroke play during which teams used the "play five/count four" approach was difficult for people to follow as far as scoring goes. Match play, on the other hand, is more spectator-friendly and provides for a better student-athlete experience as well.
"It provides for a different type of championship, and it offers excitement for more teams who might not be so close to the lead in that third round," D-II men's committee chairman (and Oauchita Baptist athletic director) Dave Sharp told the NCAA News. "It brings more teams into the championship picture."