The Binghamton University golf team is set to kick off its season this weekend at the CCSU Blue Devils Fall Invitational in Wethersfield, Conn. The outing is one of six that the Bearcats are scheduled to participate in during the fall 2012 season, which wraps up on Oct. 23.
Last fall, Binghamton posted two top-five finishes in five total outings, including a first-place finish at the Cornell Invitational on Sept. 25. The team’s expectations for this fall, according to head coach Bernie Herceg, are to remain “highly competitive,” finishing within the top two at each event.
The Bearcats return two of their top golfers from last season with junior Bryce Edmister and senior David Cellura. Edmister received America Sky All-Conference First Team Honors last spring after leading BU with a 73.9 scoring average. His score was used a team-best 27-of-28 times in 2011-12.
“Last year … [Edmister’s] play and his scoring [were] tremendous for our team,” Herceg said. “[We’re] really looking forward to him to keep improving on the scoring [to] where he can get his own ranking up. That is first off gonna help himself, but [also] really help our team be as competitive as we would like it to be playing in the fall and going into the spring.”
Herceg said the team is also looking forward to having Cellura return after a 2011-12 season in which the now senior captain managed to tie the program record twice with two five-under-par performances. Cellura earned a second-team America Sky All-Conference selection last spring.
“He’s our captain, he’s a leader, and we’re really looking forward to having him step up and be the leader of the team … in having him play well,” Herceg said of Cellura. “[We’re] looking forward to having both of those guys [Edmister and Cellura] shine and have the guys on the team really look up to them and feed off of their scoring and leadership.”
In what Herceg predicted to be one of the “highlights of the year,” Binghamton will host a home event for the first time since 2007, when it hosted the America East championship. The Binghamton University Collegiate Fall Invitational is scheduled for Oct. 7 and 8 at the Links at Hiawatha Landing.
“We definitely have a goal to win that event,” Herceg said. “[It is] somewhat of a big advantage. First off, just the knowledge … they have for the course where we’re having the event … And then the guys, being able to sleep in their own bed for the weekend versus [being] on the road traveling and going to hotels and that stuff and eating at restaurants.”
Herceg said his team has been using the past week to focus on its “short” game in preparation for CCSU’s tournament this weekend at the 71-par Wethersfield Country Club.
“We’re usually more of a longer team, [so] that it is advantageous to us when we have longer courses, but that … doesn’t mean much when you get into the competition and you’re in the heat of the battle,” he said. “I feel going into the event we’re going to be very competitive with some of the top teams there and I feel that we’re gonna finish pretty highly, so it’s a great tournament to start on and set us up for the rest of the fall.”
Tee-off is set for Saturday at 11 a.m., with the final round scheduled to start Sunday at 11 a.m.