Head UCLA men’s golf coach Derek Freeman announced on Monday a new format for the 2016 Gifford Collegiate, which will now feature 36 holes of stroke play, followed by three rounds of match play at the Silverado Resort and Spa in Napa.
“We are excited about the new changes this year,” Freeman said. “Through these changes, the tournament format will more closely resemble that of the NCAA Championship.”
The first two rounds of stroke play on day one will seed into the match-play portion of the tournament, as each team will play three matches through the championship and consolation brackets (two matches on day two, one on day three). This year’s tournament will be held Nov. 7-9 at Napa Valley’s Silverado Resort and Spa, which hosted the PGA TOUR’s season-opening event, the Safeway Open, in October.
“We are always looking for venues that host PGA TOUR events,” Freeman said. “We want our student-athletes to gain experience and knowledge of the type of golf courses the next level are competing on.”
This year’s field, which will be challenged with the Safeway Open setup for every round, will be made up of host UCLA, Colorado, Northwestern, South Florida, Stanford, USC, Washington and Wisconsin.
“Some of the most decorated amateurs in the world are on these teams,” Freeman added. “We strive to have the best field every year at the Gifford. You will find numerous tour winners and major championship winners that played in the Gifford during their college years.”
The history of the Gifford Collegiate has been a 54-hole stroke play event since the tournament’s inception 11 years ago. UCLA has won this tournament five times. The sponsor of the event, The Gifford Family, has taken great pride in this being a first-class premier college event.
“The Giffords have always been so generous with their support since the beginning,” Freeman said. “We feel it is important to make this tournament as inspiring as the late Jack Gifford was with his life. Jack loved competition and providing the best for student-athletes. I believe this new tournament format is very fitting for his legacy.”