Quinnipiac golf set to play in Barstool’s LTP Classic instead of NCAA tournament

Riley Millette, Sports Editor

The Quinnipiac women’s golf team was scheduled to play the NCAA regional championship in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on May 13. After heavy rainfall swept through the area, dozens of golfers anxiously waited outside the steps of the Louisiana State University Golf Course with the remainder of their seasons hanging in the balance.

NCAA committee representative Brad Hurlbut came out of the clubhouse and, hand on heart, delivered the news that the regional round of the tournament would be cancelled, and the six highest seeds would move on to the national championship round.

“Even though the course is playable, it’s not playable in a championship round,” Hurlbut said.

He was met with jeers and shouts from the crowd, to which he turned his back and retreated back up the steps of the clubhouse. Just like that, the Bobcats’ season was over.

“I did feel that there was maybe something that could have happened to get us out there,” junior golfer Darby Lillibridge said in a press conference.

Twelve teams were sent home at that moment, Quinnipiac being one of them. Without the opportunity to compete at the regional round, the Bobcats were left with no choice but to return home with nothing to show for their trip down south.

“It was an exciting, new experience all happening at once, and then all of a sudden it didn’t happen,” said Elena Lopez, junior golfer.

But then Barstool Sports stepped in.

Sam Bozoian, better known as Riggs, is the host of the “Fore Play” golf podcast published by Barstool. On May 14, he announced on his Twitter page that the “LTP Classic” (which stands for #LetThemPlay, which Riggs attaches to all tweets about the tournament) was officially going to happen.

Like many people on social media, Riggs was upset by the cancellation of the women’s regional round, so he decided to spearhead the creation of a replacement tournament for the athletes that didn’t get the chance to show off their skills on the national stage.

The LTP Classic is scheduled to be played on Thursday, May 20, and Friday, May 21, at the Whirlwind Golf Course in Phoenix, Arizona. The public course offered to host the tournament for free.

He posted a video on Twitter mocking the NCAA, with his hand on his heart, announcing the LTP Classic in the same fashion that the NCAA cancelled the regional round. On May 16, Quinnipiac accepted the invitation and committed to participate in the first-of-its-kind tournament. Play for the Bobcats begins on May 20.

“I feel very lucky to be a part of something like this that’s grown so big in just a little less than a week,” Lillibridge said. “This literally was talked about Thursday morning and it’s literally only Tuesday. It’s definitely an amazing thing for women’s golf.”

On May 17, the NCAA officially sanctioned the Barstool tournament as a team event, allowing the women to compete as a unit instead of as individuals. Team and individual awards will be given out at the end of the tournament on May 21.

“No matter what happens here in Arizona, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that we get to be a part of,” Lillibridge said. “It’s something that we can talk about for the rest of our lives.”

Be it the NCAA tournament or the LTP Classic, the Bobcats are excited to get out on the links and show off the golf that won them the 2021 MAAC Championship.

When asked if maybe the LTP Classic would be more prestigious than the NCAA tournament, Quinnipiac gold head coach John O’Connor was quick to answer.

“I can’t argue with that, I’m pretty sure that’ll be the case,” O’Connor said.