The Binghamton men’s golf team fell flat this week at the Elon Phoenix Invitational hosted at the Alamance Country Club in Burlington, North Carolina. The Bearcats ended their fall season with a tie for 14th place out of 16 teams and a three-round score of 926(+74).
“Our finish was a little bit on the frustrating side,” BU head Coach Bernie Herceg said. “I thought we would’ve been able to finish a little bit better than we did and play a little bit stronger throughout the three rounds.”
East Carolina came out on top, shooting 833(-19) for the tournament to finish 23 strokes ahead of second-place finishers Charleston Southern. Virginia Commonwealth senior Adam Ball won the individual crown, scoring 204(-9). Ball shot a final round 66 to edge ECU senior Jacob Hicks, who led the tournament going into round three, by one shot.
“The quality of the field was very good,” Herceg said. “They were able to get a couple more [teams] because they had some tournaments canceled because of the floods down in South Carolina the week before. It was even stronger than typical.”
Senior Jesse Perkins and junior Sameer Kalia led the Bearcats in the tournament, as both shot 228(+15) and tied for 50th place out of 93 golfers. Junior Kyle Wambold followed close behind, posting a 230(+17) to finish tied for 62nd on the leader board.
“In the last round, Sameer played really solid,” Herceg said. “He was able to make a few putts to keep his score under 75, but overall a real solid performance. Kyle had two rough holes that really cost him. He played well but those two were tough to take for him. But, that’s just something that happens in golf sometimes.”
There were few bright spots in an otherwise listless tournament for the Bearcats. Freshman Jack Faraci, after shooting 80 and 84 in the first two rounds respectively, finished the event in good form, shooting a 76 on the final day.
“It was good to see Jack come back and improve,” Herceg said. “He shot a 76 and it was good to see him post a better number.”
Despite their up and down play so far this season, the young Binghamton squad will look to improve over the course of the offseason.
“This is a learning year for us, we have four new players,” Herceg said. “For us, that’s a big turnaround. That’s half the team that are freshmen. We’re going to be working mechanically on our golf swings to try to get them a little bit more consistent.”
The Bearcats aren’t set to return to the links until March 20 when they open their spring season at the Kingsmill Intercollegiate in Williamsburg, Virginia.