The Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association's state golf tournament will have a different look this fall.
The tournament will remain at College Park, but the competition goes back to 36 holes and stretches out over three days, Oct. 25-27. The Class 3A/4A schools will play the first day, with Class 1A/2A starting on the second day. The top 50 percent of teams and individuals from all four classes will qualify for the third day.
The tournament had been a two-day event with all four classes playing together over 36 holes. That usually didn't let golfers go very fast, often stretching rounds to more than six hours. Last year, the state tried separate 18-hole events for Class 1A/2A and Class 3A/4A and thought the speed was better.
So coaches and event officials decided to go for the best of both worlds and changed the format while adding the third day.
"They liked the speed of play in the one-day tournament, but coaches really liked the two-day [format]," said tournament director Jeff Ibex. "The kids are still getting the full two days of competition, and they're getting the 36 holes they used to get."
The MPSSAA has used one-day events at times, such as during the sniper shootings in 2002. But the majority of state tournaments have been in the two-day format. Setting up a cut after 18 holes will let golfers from all four classes play on the third day and play at a better pace, which was the main concern of tournament officials.
"When all four [classes were] together before, it was a very slow round of golf," Ibex said.