The Binghamton golf team ended its season this weekend, finishing sixth of eight teams at the Big Sky Conference Championship in Boulder City, Nevada. Dealing with adverse weather for most of the weekend, the Bearcats improved in each round to finish with a 921 (+57).
“The conditions have been pretty rough out there,” said BU head coach Bernie Herceg. “It’s very windy, so it’s been rough on the guys.”
In the first round, Binghamton looked to adjust to these conditions. The Bearcats handled the strong wind relatively well, finishing the day in fifth with a collective score of 316 (+28). Sophomore Jack Faraci paced the team for the round, recording a 76 (+4) and tying for the seventh-best individual score on the day. Senior Kyle Wambold tallied a 79 (+7) in the opening round, tying for 16th place to start the championships. The Bearcats headed into Saturday within striking distance of first place. Weber State paced the field with a 303 (+15) and sat only 13 strokes ahead of Binghamton.
“[On Friday], they fought hard to stay in the thick of things,” Herceg said. “They had some OK rounds, considering how tough the conditions were.”
Binghamton adjusted to the windy conditions on Saturday, improving its team total by three strokes to head into the final round with a 629 (+53). However, significant improvements from Southern Utah and Idaho left the Bearcats in seventh place after the round.
Sacramento State led the field, shooting an 874 (+10) to win by 15 strokes. Sacramento shot 285 (-3) in the second round and ended the day with a remarkable 18-stroke advantage on the field. For Binghamton, Faraci’s consistent play led the team, as he shot a 75 (+3) to remain tied for seventh. Wambold had an unlucky day, missing a few close opportunities and shooting a 79 (+7) for the second day in a row.
“Kyle [Wambold] has played really solid, but his putter went cold [on Saturday],” Herceg said. “It’s tough when the seniors are not shooting the scores that they are capable of shooting. Today, our goal was to try and make up some ground and maybe cut the lead in half, but in the end we kind of went in the opposite direction.”
With improved conditions on Sunday, the Bearcats’ performance upgraded significantly in the final round, where BU posted a 292 (+4). The 21-stroke improvement lifted Binghamton to its sixth-place finish. Most notably, Wambold returned to form, shooting a 71 (-1) and propelling himself to a top-20 finish. Faraci continued his strong play, recording a 74 (+2) in the final round to finish tied for 10th place. Senior Sameer Kalia also ended the tournament strongly, tallying a 70 (-2) after entering the day 22 strokes above par.
Herceg anticipated this improvement from his squad, citing the less windy weather as the main reason. Sacramento State posted another 285 (+10) stroke round to secure a NCAA regional berth. Sacramento sophomore Aaron Beverly finished first individually, shooting a 215 (-1) to secure an automatic NCAA individual regional berth.
Moving into next season, the Bearcats lose two seniors, Wambold and Kalia, leaving plenty of opportunity for new leaders.