The layers of clothing the Binghamton golf team donned to stay warm may have hindered its swings at the Kingsmill Intercollegiate Tournament at William and Mary this week. In their first action of the spring season, the Bearcats finished 17th of 23 teams. BU finished with a team score of 918 (+78) after shooting 308 (+28), 314 (+34) and 296 (16) over three rounds.
“The first round was actually canceled in the morning because of the snow,” said BU head coach Bernie Herceg. “Then we went out in the afternoon with six or seven layers of clothes on; I think it hurt them a little bit.”
Despite the freezing temperatures, senior Sameer Kalia finished the day in the top individual spot for the Bearcats, shooting a 73 (+3). Sophomore Jack Faraci also fared rather well, recording a 75 (+5) on the first day of the tournament.
“Jack [Faraci] is streaky, but the team is pretty good considering we’re coming out of the snow,” Herceg said.
Senior Kyle Wambold was BU’s top individual finisher, posting an overall score of 228 (+18). He tied for 68th place after shooting 83, 76 and 69 over the three-day span. Kalia finished with the next-best score for BU and tied for 74th with a 229 (+19). The Bearcats saved their best play for the last day of the tournament, when they shot a collective 296.
“It was an OK tournament for [Kalia],” Herceg said. “I know he is disappointed in the last few rounds he played; he feels that his game is almost there. This first tournament helped him to get some of the rust off, and hopefully for the rest of the spring he’ll be more consistent.”
Tennessee won the tournament, finishing with a score of 850 (+10).
Binghamton will search for more consistency in its scores as it finishes the spring with three more tournaments. The Bearcats have seen success in these tournaments, as last year they finished fourth at Villanova and second at Lafayette. Last season at Villanova, Wambold recorded a first-place finish.
“It was great to see [Wambold] finish with a good round under his belt,” Herceg said. “He was a little frustrated in the first round. He definitely had some tough weather to play in.”
A bright spot for Binghamton was the play of freshman Chris Yustin, who finished 85th with a 231 (+21). According to Herceg, Yustin’s score did not match how he played.
“It was good to see [Yustin] get more experience,” Herceg said. “He played better than his score showed in all three rounds. I think in the future here he will be able to help us out, even this spring.”
The snow and cold weather could potentially force a relocation for the Villanova Invitational, potentially placing the Bearcats at a disadvantage.
But for BU’s upcoming tournaments, Herceg’s main goals are consistent scores. As the Bearcats move through the spring season, they will look upon Yustin and freshman Tom Mandel.
“[Mandel] didn’t do too well when we were down on our Florida trip trying to get ready for the season, so he’s home right now preparing and getting ready to compete.”
The Bearcats are set to continue their season on Monday, March 27 at the Villanova Invitational in Malvern, Pennsylvania.