Potential 36-hole event among storylines entering final day of NCAA men's golf regionals

Potential 36-hole event among storylines entering final day of NCAA men's golf regionals

Only 18 holes remain at five of the six NCAA Division I men's golf regionals. The sixth, in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, has already begun final-round play as teams look to beat weather and get 54 holes in by Wednesday night.

Here are four storylines to watch heading into Wednesday's final round, after which 30 teams, five from each regional, will punch their NCAA Championship tickets:

Click here for live scoring from all six regional sites

1. Weather issues in Chapel Hill: Some teams got in 36 holes on Monday as the NCAA tried to get as much golf in before bad weather rolled in Tuesday. The top three teams on leaderboard (first off Tuesday) only completed as much as five holes, though one coach reckoned teams should not have played Tuesday because of standing water on greens and a delay between stretches of play that left players in place on the course for about 20 minutes in freezing, hard rain. More rain is expected Wednesday, and there is not 100% optimism among a few coaches that 54 holes will be completed. Play cannot go past Wednesday night, so if all 14 teams (even last-place Howard, which tees off last and still has all 18 holes to play) don't finish by dark, scores are reverted to 36-hole results. No. 2 seed Alabama started the final round three shots out of the top five, though it's No. 3 seed Georgia Tech that really wants golf to be played; the Yellow Jackets were tied with Long Beach State after 36 holes but would lose the tiebreaker.

2. Top seeds chasing in Rancho Santa Fe: No. 1 seed Arizona State and No. 2 seed Washington have work to do in SoCal. The Sun Devils are just three shots outside the top five while the Huskies are 13 shots back of fifth-place Oklahoma. Arizona State has qualified for the NCAA Championship every year under head coach Matt Thurmond, who was hired prior to the 2016-17 season, and not since 2014 (Jon Rahm’s sophomore year) have the Sun Devils not advanced out of regionals. Only twice has a top seed been eliminated before nationals (Clemson in 2009, and Florida in 2017).

3. Stanford in trouble as host: The Cardinal shot the third-worst score of 14 teams on Day 2 (4 over) and sit sixth, three shots back of SMU. They do have four players in the top 25, though. Since 2009, host teams that are among the top five seeds have advanced 90% of time (36/40), though three of those teams that didn’t were No. 5 seeds.

4. Shakeup in Austin: Texas leads Tennessee by 10 shots, but three top-five seeds (Arkansas, Georgia and Wake) are chasing. All three, however, are within four shots of fifth-place and No. 9 seed Utah right now. BYU, a No. 8 seed, is in fourth with an eight-shot cushion. Just four times since 2009 have three top-five seeds not advanced out of the same regional, and not since 2017.