In the most anticipated invitational of the fall season, the Binghamton golf team came away with a less-than-ideal result. The Matthews Auto Collegiate Invitational, hosted by BU, was restricted to one round because of bad weather on Monday, and the Bearcats finished in a tie for seventh with a total score of 299.
“I’m disappointed that we couldn’t get the whole tournament in due to weather,” said Binghamton head coach Bernie Herceg. “The guys really were looking forward to coming out the next day and trying to make a run to finish closer to the lead.”
Junior Nacho Glagovsky ended up being the lowest-scoring Bearcat, having shot an even 72 in his only round of the tournament on Sunday. Glagovsky finished in a tie for ninth overall on the individual leaderboard. Senior co-captain Tom Mandel finished one shot behind that at one-over-par, tying for 15th place.
Binghamton’s usual top players, however, had a rougher tournament. Junior Justin Lane’s inconsistent season continued, as he finished tied for 60th with an eight-above-par total for the tournament, 13 strokes higher than his title-winning score from last season. Senior Ryan Rodriguez finished tied for 36th at plus-four, while junior D.J. Griffiths, who was the top Bearcat player in a couple of previous invitationals this season, placed in a tie for 48th with a score of six-over-par.
The front nine were particularly troublesome for the Bearcats, with the team going a combined plus-16 in the opening holes. Lane bogeyed four of his opening seven holes, while Rodriguez double-bogeyed the fifth and triple-bogeyed the eighth. At one point during the round, the Bearcats were as low as 12th place on the team leaderboard.
“It seemed like almost every guy had at least one loose swing that cost them a couple of strokes here and there,” Herceg said. “I think they were kind of pressing a little bit … Come the back side, I think they were a little bit more confident in their game and they were able to score a little bit better.”
Things eased for the team over the back nine, however, and the Bearcats were able to move up the leaderboard to a more respectable position. Mandel birdied four on the back nine, while Lane came up with an eagle on the par-five 18th to mitigate some of the damage he took on the earlier holes. Overall, three of the five Bearcat players went under par on the final nine holes, allowing Binghamton to finish the invitational in the top half of the leaderboard.
Herceg and his team were hoping that the strong finish to the first round would leave them in a good position to post a strong final round on Monday and move even further up the leaderboard, but the weather had other plans. Heavy rain initially forced the teams to tee off behind schedule, and eventually the final round had to be called off entirely before it could be completed. With the first round the only one to be put in the books, the Bearcats were stuck with their tie for seventh place without the chance to improve.
“If the rain had went the other way or stayed west of us, we probably could have gotten the whole thing in,” Herceg said. “Probably around 11 [a.m.] it started raining harder, and the course couldn’t handle that much water. It was just too unplayable — the greens were starting to puddle up, and there were spots where you couldn’t even place the ball on a fairway … We made the right call.”
Sharing the title at the Matthews Auto Collegiate Invitational were Canisius and Rider, both of whom finished with scores of 285. The individual title was also shared, with junior Matt Genaway and sophomore Mike Donner of Canisius both scoring a four-under 68.
Next up for the Bearcats is the Lehigh Invitational, which will be the final tournament of the fall season. The invitational will take place from Friday, Oct. 18 through Saturday, Oct. 19 at Saucon Valley Country Club in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.