There’s no doubt expanding the 18 Open field from 36 to 48 teams changed the three-day event this year. Adding to the field allowed for clubs to qualify that otherwise might not have. Making the field 48 or 64 or 128 doesn’t change the fact that any given year there’s only a handful of teams or so that can be considered true or legitimate contenders.
By adding 12 more teams this year and thus creating two more pools of six for a total of eight, it didn’t really add to the number of clubs that were in the mix for gold. It did give this year’s 18s Open run a different feel though than the prior three since moving the oldest age group up on the schedule.
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