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More than half the field had completed the third round of the NCAA Division III women’s golf championship on Thursday before organizers ultimately decided to cancel the round. After seeing the outrageous playing conditions and the pin location on one hole in particular, it’s easy to see why.
The short Par 4 sixth hole at Mission Inn & Resort’s El Campeon Golf Course in Florida was the culprit of the cancelation. A number of videos showing players hitting a putt and having it roll back to their feet were posted on social media.
While the sixth hole was playing just over 300 yards, the average score on the hole among the players that completed it was over a shot-and-a-half over par.
According to Brentley Romine of Golf Channel, the hole had been cut on a 5-percent slope on the green. Course staff watered the putting surface during the day in hopes of softening the area around the hole, but it’s clear that it didn’t help the cause.
“Throughout Round 3 on Thursday, and despite efforts to improve conditions, it became apparent that the pin placement on hole No. 6 … was unplayable,” the committee said in a statement provided to Golf Channel. “After play was suspended due to lightning late Thursday afternoon, the committee analyzed numerous different options on how to complete the tournament in the time allotted.”
It’s very important to note that the NCAA is responsible for placing the pins for each round, the golf course staff simply has to cut the holes where tournament organizers tell them.
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The NCAA very clearly didn’t want the short Par 4 to play too easily and used the only defense the hole has, a severe slope on the right side of the green.
This isn’t some goofy day at your local golf course that your superintendent put together, this is a tournament where young women are competing for a national championship, yet the NCAA figured out a way to mess up an entire round.
Follow Mark Harris on Twitter @ItIsMarkHarris