Changes are coming to the women’s college golf postseason, as the NCAA announced Monday that it will expand the number of Division I women’s golf regionals from four to six beginning this season.
The number of teams that qualify for regionals (72) and the NCAA Championship (24) will remain the same, but instead of the top six teams advancing to nationals out of each 18-team regional, the top four will advance out of each 12-team regional.
Each of the six regionals will also now feature six individuals (36 total), and the top two individuals not on advancing teams will qualify for nationals.
The NCAA hopes that the smaller regional fields will speed up play and allow more flexibility when faced with delays or suspensions in play. This decision comes on the heels of the Baton Rouge Regional being controversially scrapped after heavy rains prevented a single shot from being struck.
“The additional individual championship playing opportunities is exciting, and the smaller field sizes at the six regional sites positively addresses the concerns related to the checkpoint pace of play system at regionals and allows for additional flexibility in inclement weather situations,” said Julie Manning, chair of the Division I Women’s Golf Committee and deputy athletics director and senior woman administrator at Minnesota. “It’s the right move for the championship.”
The original four regional hosts for the May 9-11 championships will remain the same: The Championship Course at UNM, Albuquerque, New Mexico; University of Michigan Golf Course, Ann Arbor, Michigan; Karsten Creek Golf Club, Stillwater, Oklahoma; Seminole Legacy Golf Club, Tallahassee, Florida. There will be a bid process for the remaining two host sites, opening in November and ending in January.