CHARACTER COUNTS

Women golfers to play in Arizona after canceled NCAA regionals

May 18, 2021, 9:02 AM | Updated: 9:10 am

Whirlwind Golf Club at Wildhorse Pass has volunteered to host teams whose seasons ended with a canceled NCAA Women’s Golf Regional in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

The regionals were axed last Wednesday due to course conditions that one official called “playable, but not playable at a championship level.”

The invite to Arizona was facilitated by Barstool Sports’ Sam Riggs Bozoian, who said he organized the event with the help of Whirlwind, the Phoenix-area Thunderbirds and several of the universities who lost a chance to play in the regional.

Bozoian and Barstool are calling it the LTP (Let Them Play) Classic.

Riggs tweeted Friday that his LTP Classic event will be free of charge to the schools and will take place Thursday and Friday. Barstool worked with the NCAA to make it approved for collegiate athletes.

Bozoian invited Oregon State, Houston, Miami, North Texas, Purdue, Mississippi State, Tulsa, Sam Houston State, Kennesaw State, East Tennessee State, Jacksonville State and Quinnipiac to the event.

They are the 12 teams whose seasons ended as officials canceled the Baton Rouge regional and automatically advanced the top six seeds to the NCAA Championships. Most of those teams, plus a few others, will be represented.

Whirlwind confirmed to Arizona Sports that it offered the entire course to the teams for free, while Barstool was carrying the cost to bring the teams to the Valley. Whirlwind general manager Louie Unga said Barstool told the golf club that it was already booking rooms as of Friday morning and said it would pick up food and lodging costs as well.

The moment of the announcement that the NCAA regionals event in Baton Rouge was canceled last week was caught on camera. It went viral when NCAA committee representative Brad Hurlbut said the LSU’s University Club course was playable but not at a championship level.

“Again, heart-wrenching decision that we had to make,” Hurlbut said. “The course is playable, but not playable at a championship level.”

LSU, Ole Miss, Baylor, Oregon, Maryland and Alabama were the top six seeds who advanced without taking a swing this week.

They will play at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale on May 21-26 for the NCAA Women’s Golf Championship.

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