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ATLANTA - The second annual AutoTrader.com Collegiate Classic, a return trip to the famed Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass and a move to the Sun Belt Conference highlight the 2012-13 Georgia State men's golf schedule which was announced by head coach Joe Inman on Tuesday.
With a core group of returnees, the fall season will open once again at the Mason Rudolph Invitational. Hosted by Vanderbilt at The Legends in Franklin, Tenn., the Panthers will take to the course for the first time Sept. 21-23, making their third straight appearance at the event.
GSU will follow by making its debut at the Brickyard Collegiate just down I-75 in Macon. One of the top tournaments in the southeast, the Brickyard, hosted by Mercer, often features some of the best teams in the country.
Georgia State will then host the second annual AutoTrader.com Collegiate Classic Oct. 15-16 at Berkeley Hills Country Club in nearby Duluth. The 16-team field will play 36 holes on Monday, followed by the final round on Tuesday.
The Panthers will conclude the fall at the UNCG Bridgestone Golf Collegiate on the East Course at the Grandover Resort in Greensboro, N.C., Oct. 27-28.
"I think we were able to put together a very competitive schedule," commented Inman. "We have a talented group of returners and two newcomers who will immediately add depth to our program, so I felt as though it was imperative to put together a schedule that gives us the best chance to qualify for the NCAA Regionals.
"There are several tournaments that we have played in the past, including Sawgrass, which we love to have on the schedule. Our 23 days of competition set up nicely to have us playing our best golf in April heading into our first Sun Belt Championship."
The spring season once again opens at the SeaBest Seafood Invitational on the famed Stadium Course at the TPC Sawgrass, Feb. 4-5. The fourth year event will feature a field packed with NCAA-caliber opponents, which will give the team a good idea as to what they need to work on during the spring season to be ready for the postseason.
Two weeks later the Panthers will travel to Hilton Head, S.C. to defend their title at the Wexford Plantation Intercollegiate, Feb. 18-19, hosted by Francis Marion.
"After earning both the team and individual titles at Wexford last year, I felt as though it was only appropriate for us to go back and defend our titles," continued Inman.
Georgia State will open a busy month of March at the Cleveland Golf Palmetto Intercollegiate in Aiken, S.C., March 11-12. The event, hosted by USC Aiken at the Palmetto Golf Club, last saw the Panthers compete during the 2002-03 season.
A few days later, the Panthers will make their debut in the Mission Inn Spring Spectacular in Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla. The two-day event, March 17-18, is hosted by George Mason on the Las Colinas Course.
GSU will close out the month March (22-24) by returning to the Furman Intercollegiate in Greenville, S.C.
Georgia State's final event of the regular season will come April 8-9 at the Old Waverly Collegiate Championship hosted by Ole Miss in West Point, Miss.
Following a runner-up finish at the conference championship last April, the Panthers will look to win their seventh conference title in their inaugural Sun Belt Championship in Muscle Shoals, Ala. Playing on the Fighting Joe Course of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, Georgia State will take on the league's best, April 22-24.
The NCAA Regionals will once again take place at six national sites, May 16-18. The NCAA National Championships are set for nearby Capital City Club in Alpharetta, Ga., May 28-June 2.
The first day of classes for Georgia State is scheduled for August 20. Based on weather conditions, Inman plans to start practice approximately one week later.