Hutchinson, Kan. – No. 5 seed Cal was one of 15 teams in the afternoon wave of tee times that never made it onto the course at Prairie Dunes Country Club during Friday’s opening-round of action at the 2014 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championship. A total of eight hours and 10 minutes of delays were endured before play was finally suspended at 5:50 p.m. CT.
“I’ve been doing this a long time and never remember a day like this where there were so many weather delays,” head coach Steve Desimone said. “In the second wave we never had a chance to even get to the driving range to warm up for the afternoon wave.”
All 15 teams in the morning wave were able to get started but none had their entire teams finish nine holes. Oregon is the early leader at three-under par.
Play is scheduled to resume with a shotgun Saturday at 7 a.m. CT. There will be no specific tee times provided in advance but without further weather delays Cal is expected to start its first round Saturday sometime in the mid-late morning. The Bears expect to receive the specific information sometime Saturday morning and remain scheduled to play their first 36 holes of the event along with No. 4 and No. 6 seeds Georgia Tech and Georgia.
“It does complicate the tournament schedule in major ways especially given the fact that the weather forecast for the next three days is very similar,” Desimone said. “There are lots of possibilities here so to speculate on any of them really doesn’t make much sense. We’ll take it one day at a time now and leave it at that. There’s nothing else you can do.”
The top 40 individuals and ties at the conclusion of 54 holes of stroke play will move on to a fourth round of stroke play action Monday to determine the NCAA individual medalist title that was won last season by Cal senior and current professional Max Homa. The first tee time Monday will be approximately 7:10 a.m. CT.
The top eight teams at the end of 54 holes of stroke play will advance to one of four match-play quarterfinals scheduled for Tuesday with seedings based on 54-hole team stroke play scores.
The first two quarterfinal matches (No. 2 vs. No. 7; No. 3 vs. No. 6) tee off from the first and 10th holes at 7 a.m. CT, while the other two quarterfinals (No. 1 vs. No. 8; No. 4 vs. No. 5) begin from the same spots at 7:50 a.m. CT.
The winners of the first two quarterfinal matches will play a semifinal match Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. CT, while the winners of the second two will play in the other semifinal starting at 2:20 p.m. CT. Both will begin from the first tee.
The finals will be held Wednesday beginning from the first tee at 12:10 p.m. PT.
Cal has reached the semifinals of the NCAA Championship each of the past two seasons and won its lone national title a decade ago in 2004. The Bears began the 2014 event ranked No. 5 nationally by Golfstat and Golf World/Nike Golf as well as No. 6 according to the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings.
Cal has won six of its first 13 events in 2013-14 and 24 of its last 39 stroke-play tournaments overall dating back to the beginning of the 2011-12 season. The Bears have finished in the top five in 38 of those 39 events as well as another four match-play events during the period for 42 top-five showings in their last 43 tournaments overall.
There is no admission charge for the 2014 NCAA Men’s Golf Championship. Spectators will be charged $10 per car for parking and $25 per bus (or any vehicles holding more than 10 people).
Golf Channel will produce the first ever live telecast of the event with three hours of coverage during each of the tournament’s final three days next Monday-Wednesday from 4-7 p.m. CT. Golf Central will also air live from the event site from Sunday night through Wednesday.