The NCAA Division III Women’s Golf Championship was faced with a major setback on Thursday as the third round of the tournament was canceled due to an “unplayable” hole on the course. The hole in question was Hole 6, a 308-yard, par-4 hole with a 5% slope, located at El Campeon Golf Course in Howey-in-the-Hills, Florida. The pin placement on the hole was deemed too severe, making it extremely difficult for players to make a decent putt. As a result, many near-perfect shots were seen rolling back toward the players’ feet.
The decision to cancel the third round was made after only 60% of the field had completed Hole 6. The Golf Channel reported that 29 golfers shot triple bogeys or worse on the hole, which played more than 1.5 shots over par. The NCAA Division III Women’s Golf Committee deemed the hole unplayable and thus canceled the round. This was set to be the penultimate day of the tournament.
In a statement released on Thursday, the committee announced, “The NCAA Division III Women’s Golf Committee has determined that round 3 will officially be canceled on the grounds of an unplayable hole for the entire tournament field.” Consequently, scores from the third round were wiped out, and the tournament was shortened to 54 holes. The cancelation of the third round caused a significant upset in the tournament, with George Fox University leading at the end of the final day. However, the result of the tournament would be based on just two rounds, rather than three.
Despite the setback caused by canceling the third round, the tournament continued, and the remaining rounds were played out over the weekend. The cancelation of the round sparked widespread criticism from coaches and players, who felt that officials should have been aware of the difficulty of the hole before including it in the course. One coach said, “They should’ve known not to put [the hole] there. They just said they were sorry and they felt bad.”
Video footage of the round, obtained by Golf Channel’s Brentley Romine, showed just how difficult the hole was to play, with many players struggling to make even basic shots. The cancelation of the third round of the NCAA Division III Women’s Golf Championship was a significant disappointment for players, coaches, and fans alike. The decision to cancel the game due to an unplayable hole sparked criticism from those involved in the tournament, who felt that officials should have been aware of the difficulty of the hole before including it in the course.
Despite this setback, the tournament continued, and a champion was eventually crowned based on the scores from the two completed rounds. While the cancelation of the third round may have detracted from the excitement of the tournament, it also highlighted the importance of course design and maintenance. Future tournaments may benefit from a more careful consideration of the course layout, ensuring that players are challenged but not overwhelmed by the difficulty of the holes. Ultimately, the NCAA Division III Women’s Golf Championship served as a reminder of the unpredictable nature of sports, and the importance of adaptability and resilience in the face of adversity.