Jaguars coach is irked by new rule

Annette M. Drowlette/Staff
Josh Gregory said the .500 rule will alter the way teams schedule.

Augusta State men's golf coach Josh Gregory voiced his displeasure for the newest college golf rule when it went into effect this season.

Gregory still isn't happy with the .500 rule, which means teams must have a win-loss record of .500 or better to qualify for postseason play.

After finishing tied for 12th in the 18-team Administaff Augusta State Invitational, the Jaguars fell to 49-66 on the season.

"We're obviously not in favor of it," Gregory said Sunday. "But you have to play by it. Fortunately, we have two events left. We have to make up some ground. We have to play well."

Earlier this year, Gregory said the following in Golfweek .

"Although I am not in favor of the rule, you have to adapt to the rule, otherwise you are going to get outcoached. It also depends upon the quality of your team. As coaches, we are going to have to schedule more and more like basketball and football coaches, make sure our schedule is demanding enough to prepare our team for the postseason and to be ranked high enough, but with enough lesser events to ensure wins."

To avoid missing postseason play for the second time in three seasons, Augusta State must post high finishes in their remaining two regular-season events. Gregory said his team has to finish no worse than fourth or fifth in each.

"I think that's definitely doable with the fields," he said. "By playing such a touch schedule so far and having some moderate success against those teams, I think it'll prepare us.

"We honestly have an opportunity to go out and win."

According to Golfweek , No. 54 Augusta State has the 25th-toughest schedule in Division I. The Jaguars, however, are just 5-38 against top 25 teams and 12-55-2 against top 50 teams.

Augusta State put itself behind the eight ball by having a poor spring. In four events, the Jaguars have finished ninth, 11th, 11th and 12th.

The Jaguars resume tournament play Monday at the Palisades Collegiate Golf Classic in Charlotte, N.C., before playing the Cavalier Classic at the end of the month. If Augusta State can post a victory -- its best finish this season is a third-place showing -- it can edge closer to the .500 mark.

"We're fine for the regional," Gregory said. "We just have to get to .500."

- USC Aiken finished its regular season with a 16th-place finish in the ASU Invitational. The fifth-ranked Pacers now play host to the Peach Belt Conference Tournament, Apr. 21-22, at Houndslake Country Club in Aiken.

Following the conference tournament, USC Aiken travels to the Southeast Regional in Belmont, N.C. With a good showing there, the Pacers would advance to the NCAA Division II Tournament with a chance to win their fourth national title in five years.

Reach Chris Gay at (706) 823-3645 or chris.gay@augustachronicle.com.

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