SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – The Barstool Sports “Let Them Play Classic” tees off on Thursday in Arizona in response to officials canceling the women’s golf NCAA Regional tournament in Baton Rouge on Wednesday, May 12.
St. Charles County native Sam ‘Riggs’ Bozoian, a Barstool Sports golf blogger, went to work right away on the tournament after learning about the move.
He says he saw a video of NCAA officials making a short announcement on the steps of a Baton Rouge, Louisiana clubhouse where they told the women the tournament was canceled.
“The course is playable, but not playable at a championship level,” NCAA officials said.
This caused the top six teams to automatically move on to the championship. It sent the 12 other teams home without even playing one hole of golf.
Even though it did rain that week, the women felt that they should have been allowed to play.
“I do feel that there were ways to make it work, to get us out there,” junior Quinnipiac golfer Darby Lillibridge said.
Many of the athletes took their frustrations to social media.
In true Barstool Sports fashion, Riggs let the golf world know what was in the works through a twitter video mocking the viral video of the NCAA officials canceling the tournament. This caused many to be skeptical of the tournaments validity.
“I thought it was a joke at first, honestly,” University of North Texas women’s golf coach Michael Akers said.
“I mean look, we’re Barstool Sports. We try to make people laugh, we try to not take life or ourselves too seriously. So it was pretty fitting to mock that video a little bit because it was going very viral,” Riggs said.
Bozoian played on the Harvard hockey team and had a lot of empathy for the girls who’s golf seasons were taken away from them.
“I understand what goes into it. I understand how much it means to you. I understand how emotional it gets towards the end when you know it’s coming to an end. It’s a huge part of your life,” Riggs said.
The Barstool Let Them Play Classic will be held at Whirlwind Golf Club at no cost to the players and coaches. This is just minutes from the NCAA Championship Tournament in Scottsdale, Arizona. That tournament tees off on Friday at Grayhawk Golf Club.
Whirlwind Golf Club is a Troon property and is waiving all of the tournament’s greens fees. In order to pay for the other tournament necessities, Barstool has come out with LTP Classic apparel and has 100 percent of the proceeds going to these costs.
The participants are very thankful to Barstool Sports for hosting this tournament.
“Luckily for women’s golf as a whole, everything that did transpire has kind of had a silver lining behind it. So we’re very lucky to have had the Fore Play podcast and Riggs and everyone who has been a part of that to put this together for us,” Lillibridge said.
Riggs also worked with the NCAA to ensure all participants would still be in compliance with the NCAA rules.
The women will play 36 holes on Thursday and 18 on Friday.