I hope everyone enjoyed their Turkey Day! Here's some good information for you to chew on alongside those leftovers:
I’ll try and break the format down as simply as possible from a player perspective. There is going to be a lot of shuffling and reshuffling going on to ensure every player gets at least 36-holes in, but that’s for me to worry about. If you saw my spreadsheet bracket, your head might explode. Here’s all you need to know:
There are two different types of fields, a 16-player field and a 32-player field. However, no matter which field you are playing in, your matches will progress the same way. You will be placed on a card with four players; or two matches. It will be a shotgun start, with all matches beginning at the same time. You will play two matches in a row, without needing to come back to the pavilion after the first 9 holes. So, after the first 9-hole match is completed, you will just change up your card so that the two winners will now play each other (since on a traditional bracket, they would be playing each other next anyways), and the two players who lost will play each other. That way, your card will play all 18 holes in a row before coming off the course.
After the first two matches, we will have our lunch break. Then the exact same format will be implemented for the afternoon matches. After the third and fourth round matches are done, everyone will come back in again and the final matches will be set. There will be 3 final matches. Players will be more than welcome to create a gallery to watch any of the final matches. Obviously, Oxbow Falls is not a very ‘open’ course. Spectators will have to take great care to not be a distraction or in the way. They will also have to defer to the players in the final matches if they are asked to move, quiet down, etc. Likewise, final match players will have to take responsibility for their play. Wait as long as you need to be comfortable with taking your shot, ask (NICELY) for a spectator to move, etc. I’m pointing this out now because I don’t want to hear a player whining about the gallery being the reason they just lost 7-2.
Tiebreakers are, of course, a necessity for Match Play. But we also need to make sure we don’t interrupt the flow of 64 players playing two consecutive matches on the course at the same time. So we will be using two different methods for tiebreakers.
- For the first and third round matches (which are the first 9-holes you play in the morning and again in the afternoon) we will use a CTP tiebreaker. Holes 1, 4, 7, 10, 13, and 16 will be designated as CTP holes. With this set-up, during your match you will play exactly 3 of these CTP holes regardless of what hole you start on. (for example, if your first match is holes 3-11, you will play the 4, 7, and 10 CTP holes) Whichever player wins 2 of 3 of these CTP holes DURING your match will hold the tiebreaker win. That way, no extra holes are needed in the case of a tie, and the next match can proceed for all players without disruption.
- For the second and fourth round matches (which will be the final 9-holes you play), as well as the final matches, we will use sudden-death holes. Since all players will be coming off the course after these rounds, any matches needing a tiebreaker will play a loop of holes 1, 3, 10, and 11 in sudden-death format until a winner is decided. I chose using these holes instead of just playing sudden-death on the next holes on the course after your match to avoid conflicting with any matches that may still be taking place ahead of you.
Using two different tiebreak methods should make these matches even more interesting. If a player is in danger of a tie in their first or third round match, and know they don’t have the CTP tiebreaker, it will certainly make them play that final hole more aggressively than playing for the tie and banking on the sudden-death holes that a player can fall back on in rounds two and four.
If it all seems confusing, trust me that it works out smoothly as far as the brackets are concerned.
If you need it broken down in a nutshell:
- Play your assigned match for nine-holes.
- Mark the 3 CTPs during the round in case a tiebreak is needed.
- Reshuffle your card so that the winners play each other and losers play each other.
- Play second nine-hole match.
- Play sudden-death holes if a tiebreak is needed.
That’s it. That is as basic as you’ll need to worry about. That’s two matches, lunch, two more matches, and everyone can watch the Championship matches. Simple, right?
Now, the only variance between the two different fields is how the first two rounds are calculated for payout purposes. The 32-player Am Field will work as a standard single-elimination bracket. 32 players will become 16, 16 will become 8, etc. This is how the cash will be calculated for this field. The 16-player fields are a bit trickier since they still need 4 rounds of play, and we want to avoid first-round byes if possible. A traditional 16-player bracket would only produce 3 rounds before the final match.
So, the 16 players in each of the Pro and Rec fields will be placed into four groups of 4 players each. After the first two matches, 2 players will be taken from each group (based on matches won, and total holes won) and they will create the 8-player bracket for the two afternoon matches. Again, this is just for payout purposes. Every player is still going to play four matches, even if you lose every one. And even if you lose, there will still be opportunities for some cash.
I know it’s a lot to sort out. If you have any questions or want clarification, feel free to ask here or contact me. I want all the players to be as comfortable with the format as possible on the day of the tournament so I don’t waste a lot of time going over the specifics that morning.