Georgia men's late change to spring schedule
If you go on the Georgia men's website and click on schedule, the Wendy's Charleston Shootout is no where to be found. At least not as of March 1 (see below), despite that being the date of the final round of the tournament at the Links at Stono Ferry in Charleston, S.C.
Apparently, the Bulldogs added the event within the last few weeks, a rained-out final round from the fall and another available play date making the start possible. Georgia then proceeding to run away with the title, shooting a 18-under 846 to beat the College of Charleston by 20 strokes.
"We're excited about getting this opportunity to play," Georgia coach Chris Haack said in a press release prior to the tournament. "This time of year, you want to get in as much playing time as possible to get ready for the championship events in April, May and June. This tournament will allow to stay sharp and work on some things at the same time."
My guess is what Haack is more excited about is the fact that the victory in the 15-team event gave Georgia 14 Ws to add to its win-loss record, providing some breathing room for a squad that was 37-27-3 after its T-6 finish in Puerto Rico last month. With three high-profile starts between now and the SEC Championship remaining on the Bulldogs' schedule (Southern Highlands, Linger Longer and Morris Williams) concerns that Georgia might be a bit too close to the wrong side of the ".500 rule" and risked being ineligible for the NCAA postseason no doubt had begun to make a few people in Athens a little bit nervous.
Playing in a tournament with a field that consists of just one other BCS conference school (and that being Maryland of the ACC, not the league's top squad) is something we've seen a variety of big-name programs do in the last few years in an attempt to make sure they don't get caught by the ".500 rule." I don't have a problem with that necessarily, provided that the event was on a school's schedule from the start of the season or the semester. That's what the rule was actually designed to do, help low-profile schools be able to schedule more highly ranked schools and get a chance to see how they stack up.
In this case, however, the event was added mid-season, when Georgia knew that their so-so win-loss record might make things a bit dicey come April. Maybe it's just me, but something just doesn't feel right about that.