As its spring season progressed, things looked better and better for the Binghamton University golf team. After a second-place finish at the Navy Intercollegiate, the team seemed poised to make some noise at the Big Sky Championships. However, the Bearcats fell a bit flat this weekend, earning just a sixth-place finish out of seven participating schools.
The Bearcats’ performance at their final tournament of the year marked both a massive improvement in score and no improvement in placement from their performance at the Big Sky Championships a year ago. The team improved a full 30 shots from 2018’s plus-29 performance, yet it still came up with a sixth-place finish for the fourth consecutive season.
“We didn’t attain the goals that we set out to, [but] the guys played pretty solid overall,” said BU head coach Bernie Herceg. “I feel if our putters got a little hot, our scoring clubs, we would have been a little closer to the lead and given ourselves a chance.”
Sophomore Nacho Glagovsky garnered the best score of the participating Bearcats, shooting a 211, or five under, across three rounds of golf to tie in eighth on the individual leaderboard. Glagovsky was the only Binghamton player to score below par in each of the tournament’s three rounds, and his third-round 69 was tied for the lowest round of any Bearcat.
Sophomore D.J. Griffiths continued his gradual improvement over the spring, finishing in a tie for 12th place with a 215. He and Glagovsky were the only Bearcats to finish in the top half of the leaderboard, leading the team to its overall below-par finish.
Though the Bearcats finished near the bottom of the pack, they weren’t very far from the top of the leaderboard for much of the tournament. The team recovered from a 293 on day one with a 284 on day two and a 286 on day three to put itself back into contention. Glagovsky played extremely efficient golf in the final two rounds, doing worse than par on only one hole. In the end, BU came within five shots of a third-place finish.
“If you look at the scoring from sixth to third place, it’s a four [or] five shot [difference],” Herceg said. “We have a stronger team scoring-wise. We have five guys, and four of them throughout the tournament we know are going to get some pretty solid scores, and that’s what happened. We just weren’t low enough of what we needed to do.”
Of the five Binghamton golfers who participated in the Big Sky Championships, only one will be graduating following the end of the semester. Senior Zak Ottman finished his Binghamton golf career in lackluster fashion, carding a 224 in a tie for 26th place out of 35. Though it didn’t show this past weekend, Ottman had many successful outings over the course of his career, including a victory in the 2018 Matthews Auto Invitational.
“[Ottman’s] been a great addition from day one for the program,” Herceg said. “He played in every tournament except one throughout his career, so his consistency was always there … He’s an outstanding person, he was a good leader for our program when he was here and he’s definitely going to be missed.”
With the Big Sky Championships now over, the golf season for Binghamton comes to a close as well — a season that saw vast improvements despite the past weekend’s results. BU will have to wait until next fall to see more tournament action. Nine of the current 10 players on Binghamton’s roster are returning for the 2019-20 season, and Herceg remains optimistic that this team will continue to climb the ladder.
“We were a fairly young team last year, so, in my eyes, we’re young this year,” Herceg said. “Next year, the next two years, is where we’ll peak.”