Players and coaches were left outraged after the NCAA committee at the women's golf regional in Baton Rouge decided to cancel the event on Wednesday.
“Disgraceful And Shameful” – NCAA Women’s Tournament Controversially Cancelled
The NCAA committee abruptly cancelled the NCAA women’s golf regional in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on Wednesday before players had even taken a shot.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association is a member-led organisation that runs the the highest level collegiate sports leagues in the US, with players such as Tiger Woods and Bryson DeChambeau both winning individual NCAA titles in their amateur days.
NCAA committee representative Brad Hurlbut broke the news to players outside of the clubhouse, announcing that the golf course was playable but not championship-level playable due to standing water on the course.
“Look, this is one of the most gut-wrenching decisions and announcements that I’ve ever been a part of,” said Hurlbut to the players, caught on camera.
“Therefore, the top six teams that were seeded will advance along with the top three individuals that were not on those teams.”
“Again, heart-wrenching decision that we had to make.
“The course is playable, but not playable at a championship level.”
Miami player Sara Byrne shared the video to social media, displaying outrage at the decision – especially with Hurlbut claiming the course “is playable.”
Consequently, the top six seeds automatically advance to the NCAA Championship, with the top three players from outside of those teams also advancing.
LSU, Mississippi, Baylor, Oregon, Maryland and Alabama are among the top six teams progressing to the NCAA Championship on May 21-26, at Grayhawk Golf Club in Arizona.
The three highest-ranked players not on those teams include Houston’s Karen Fredgaard, Miami’s Nataliya Guseva and Sam Houston State’s Hanna Alberto.
In the event that no golf is played, it is committee policy for teams to advance based on their seedings, echoed by NCAA rules stipulating that regional competition cannot extend past Wednesday.
“The NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Committee regrets that the 2021 NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championships regional in Baton Rouge could not be conducted as scheduled this week,” an NCAA statement read.
“The University Club has taken on over 7 inches of rain in the past several days.
“The Division I Women’s Golf Committee, NCAA staff and the Games Committee in Baton Rouge have been in constant communication throughout the past several days about the course conditions that have led to this unprecedented and most difficult decision.”
Miami player Kristyna Frydlova shared photos of the course to Twitter, arguing against the NCAA’s controversial decision.
However, players would have needed to play using lift, clean, and place, while some bunkers still needed water removed from them at 11am on Wednesday.
The seventh hole also had a small lake of standing water in its fairway.
LPGA player and wife of Houston head coach Gerrod Chadwell, Stacy Lewis, also took to social media to provide her opinion on the matter on the controversially cancelled NCAA women’s tournament.
“There’s a lot I could say on this, but NCAA, you failed these kids,” Lewis wrote.
“Be creative, be willing to adapt, and most importantly, let their play decide who plays for a national championship.”