Sophomore Josh Holling propelled the Binghamton University golf team to its fourth straight Cornell Invitational title over the weekend, capturing his first career individual crown with a 36-hole total of 142 (-2).
The Bearcats beat out second-place Fordham University and 11 other teams with a two-day total of 593 (+17). They boasted a tournament-high 28 birdies, led by Holling’s tournament-best 11.
Holling recorded identical Day 1 and Day 2 scores of 71 (-1) to edge out Cornell junior Zack Bosse by a single stroke for the top individual honors. Holling is the first Binghamton golfer to take first place in a tournament with a medalist performance since Jake Katz in 2010.
“[Holling’s] had a great year so far, leading up to [the Cornell Invitational], [with] his scoring and things that he’s been doing for us,” Binghamton head coach Bernie Herceg said. “He’s right there as in how close he is to doing this week in and week out and it was great to see him pull it off this week.”
At the end of the first day of play, the Bearcats found themselves trailing St. Bonaventure University by three strokes. But the Bonnies faltered on Day 2, recording a 319 and slipping five spots in the standings to finish the weekend in sixth. After a first day score of 297, Binghamton posted a 296 on the second day to capture the title.
“It was a great win,” Herceg said. “There was a little pressure on us to four-peat and for the guys to pull through, [and] it was tough weekend due to the weather.”
According to Herceg, the event was initially scheduled to be 54 holes, but rainy conditions reduced it to 36.
“The course was playing tough and the guys adapted and adjusted their games and pulled it off,” Herceg said. “It was great to see.”
Junior Bryce Edmister trimmed four strokes off his first day score to post a 73 on Day 2 in the Bearcats’ push for first. Edmister finished ninth overall, marking his second top-10 finish in three outings this season.
Senior captain David Cellura tied Edmister for ninth after sliding three places in the individual standings on the second day. Cellura, who led the Bearcats with a 15th-place finish at The McLaughlin last weekend, recorded a Day 2 total of 77 after posting an opening day score of 73.
Edmister and Cellura have finished among the top three for BU in each of the team’s first three outings of the season, and Herceg attributed some of the team’s success so far to their consistency.
“When you have two guys that you can rely on that are going to always be there for you and have those consistent scores, the rest of the team thrives off that too to make the whole team more consistent,” he said. “They still haven’t gotten to where they need to be yet this year and they definitely would attest to it … It’s good to see the consistency but I know they know where they want to take their games and be able to shoot some scores under par and have a better fall season than where they are right now, so I’m really looking forward to them stepping it up the last three events.”
The Bearcats are set to resume play on Oct. 7 and 8 for the first-ever Binghamton University Collegiate Fall Invitational at the Links at Hiawatha Landing. The event will mark the first time the team has hosted an event since the America East championship in 2007.
“[The team is] really excited about it, as am I,” Herceg said. “It will be a good test for the golfers coming in, as well as our team. We’re hoping to pull off a victory.”
Play is scheduled to start at 9:30 a.m. on Oct. 7 and resume at 9 a.m. the following day.