After an eighth-place finish last week, the Binghamton golf team followed up with another eighth-place finish at the Battle at Rum Point in Berlin, Maryland. After a rough first day of team play where the team finished 21-over par, the Bearcats were able to move up in the team standings the second day after posting the third-best team performance with a score of 8-above par. The team finished with a final score of 29-above par.
“The team performed well over the weekend, the second day was the better of the two,” said Binghamton head coach Bernie Herceg. “This [was] only our third or fourth round on grass playing golf holes so that makes things difficult since they were not outside as much but overall, it was a good performance and they finished very strong on the second day.”
Due to the rainy weather, conditions weren’t ideal and play was occasionally stopped. The Bearcats were also battling some injuries, making it more difficult to finish with a lower score.
“Unfortunately, one of our players had a wrist injury so he wasn’t able to help us out on the last day, which made it tough for us since with five players competing and the lowest four scores counting, losing a player eliminates that flexibility,” Herceg said. “We ended up shooting under 300 with three of our guys playing very solid yesterday, and it’s only going to get better from here on out.”
The bright sides of the tournament were provided by senior Justin Lane and sophomore Evan Sitts, as they both finished in the top 10. Lane tied for sixth place, finishing with a final two-day score of 2-over par and earning his ninth top-10 finish for BU. Sitts finished tied for ninth place with a final two-day score of 3-over par due to his solid second day where he scored 3-under, tying for the best score of the day among 64 golfers.
“[Lane] played very solid both days and if the conditions of the greens were a little bit better, he would have shot under par both rounds but overall, very solid performance for him as he was striking the ball really well which gives him an indication of where his game is currently at heading into the April invitationals,” Herceg said. “This gave him a good opportunity to understand exactly what he needs to improve on to lower his scores. For [Sitts], the round he had yesterday was spectacular being 3-under par and really helping the team out by getting our score under 300.”
According to Herceg, the team as a whole is focused on keeping a strong mentality heading into the upcoming tournaments. With golf being both a physical and mental game, it’s a priority for the team to maintain composure and trust themselves when playing in tournaments.
“Without a doubt, golf is a mental game as well,” Herceg said. “All the players on the team are very talented and it’s very important to have mental toughness. At times out on the golf course, there are disappointments and that’s why it is crucial to control your emotions and be patient while understanding the opportunities ahead on the next shots. Again, it’s a very mental game, so when the players see some positiveness when it comes to their ball striking and scoring, they will be able to thrive off that confidence which helps their mental game knowing they have the ability to make up for a bad shot or bad hole.”
Looking ahead, the Bearcats will next compete at the Villanova Wildcat Invitational on Monday, April 12 and Tuesday, April 13. The tournament will begin at 9 a.m. in Villanova, Pennsylvania.