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NCAA Women’s Golf Championships Regional in Baton Rouge Scrapped, Sparking Controversy

The NCAA was at the head of controversy once again as the Division I women's golf regional in Baton Rouge was scrapped without a single shot hit. 

“Look, this is one of the most gut-wrenching decisions and announcements that I’ve ever been a part of,” NCAA Committee representative Brad Hurlbut said outside of LSU’s University Club earlier Wednesday

“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.”

Weather had continuously threatened the regional throughout the week as over seven inches of rain poured down on the course. But not everyone agreed with the NCAA committee's opinion. As the decision was announced, screams of “Are you serious?” and “You just said it’s playable,” rang out in the parking lot. 

It had not rained at all on Wednesday when the announcement was made. 

The top six seeds—LSU, Mississippi, Baylor, Oregon, Maryland and Alabama—automatically advance to the NCAA Championship. It's currently slated to be played May 21-26 at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona. 

The NCAA released a statement later Wednesday afternoon explaining the committee's policy for seeding to dictate which teams advanced when no golf is played. 

“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,” the 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.”

However, according to Golfweek, multiple coaches advocated that there were certain times the regional could be played. Miami coach Patti Rizzo walked all 18 holes on Tuesday, and said there were only a handful of bunkers in poor shape. She added that she did not see the maintenance crew on the course at that time. 

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