The NCAA swiftly ended the 2019-20 D1 women's golf season abruptly one year ago due to the COVID-19 pandemic. One year later, the NCAA decided to scrap the Baton Rouge Regional event on Wednesday due to inclement weather throughout the week, advancing the top six seeds only.
“Look, this is one of the most gut-wrenching decisions and announcements that I’ve ever been a part of,” said NCAA Committee representative Brad Hurlbut, the Director of Athletics at Fairleigh Dickinson, outside the clubhouse at the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional on Wednesday afternoon.
“Even though the course is playable, it’s not playable at a championship level. Therefore, the top six teams that were seeded will advance, along with the top three individuals that were not on those six teams.”
The tournament was slated to be hosted at the University Club in Baton Rouge on Monday, May 10 through Wednesday, May 12. However, throughout the week the Baton Rouge course had saturated seven inches of rain that made the course not "at a championship level."
Prior to the tournament the NCAA committee released the seedings for the regional tournament.
The field was comprised of 18 teams all with hopes of continuing their redemption season following a season that ended with uncertainty. Oregon State, Houston, Miami, North Texas, Perdue, Mississippi State, Tulsa, Sam Houston, Kennesaw State, East Tennessee State, Jacksonville State and Quinnipiac have had their season cut short again, for the second consecutive year.
Down the steps where the Hurlbut made the announcement that the tournament has been cancelled, coaches and players voiced their thoughts. In a video obtained by Golfweek, screams and cries of “Are you serious?”, “You just said it’s playable,” "You should be ashamed of yourself!" and "Thank you for ending our careers," were aimed at the officials.
Although, the Tigers were on the opposite side of tragedy this year, their advancement to the NCAA Championship in Scottsdale, Arizona, is surrounded by controversy. Not a single shot was played and six teams are advancing to the next stage.
This was a special tournament for the Tigers. The squad had this date circled on their calendar since the beginning of the season. After winning the LSU Invitational at the University Club, in early April, by a 22-stroke margin, the squad felt comfortable hosting the NCAA regional event.
The Tigers will compete for a national title for the first time since 2015 when they take the Grayhawk Golf Club course, May 21-26. It will be the first time that the team has advanced in head coach Garrett Runion's three-year tenure.