The 2008 Division I Men's Golf Championships handbook has been posted on the NCAA's website (click here for a link to where you can download a PDF version), and it outlines the format of competition for the three regionals and national championship to be played next spring (the women's edition is also now online). Fans who have been following the proposed changes to the NCAA Championship set forward by the NCAA men's golf committee might be surprised to see that the handbook outlines a national championship where golfers compete for 72 holes for the individual title, rather than the much anticipated (and somewhat controversial) change to crowning a medalist after 54 holes.
There is an explanation: What's not online is an accompanying memo sent by committee chairman Mike Holder to college coaches that explains how the NCAA is continuing to review the recommendation of a 54-hole winner for the 2008 championship and that the handbook could be amended in the future pending the proposal's approval. Donnie Wagner, NCAA assistant director of championships, told Campus Insider earlier today that he had the handbook written in September and had been waiting to put it online until the proposal had been approved or rejected but felt something needed to go up on the website at this point given that half the season had already been completed. Wagner anticipates that that requested change for a 54-hole winner should be ruled on by NCAA prior to next month's GCAA annual convention in Orlando. Holder and others suggest that all indications are the NCAA will approve the measure.
One other interesting thing can be found in Holder's memo to coaches: the NCAA's decision to expand the number of regionals from three to six beginning in the 2008-09 season will allow 27 additional individual players to compete in the postseason. The NCAA committee will include conference medalists among those players if they already aren't on a team that's selected to compete at regionals.
Call it AQs for individuals.