The Binghamton golf team had its best finish of the spring season earlier this week when the team competed at the two-round Villanova Intercollegiate. The Bearcats were in 15th place at one point during the final round of the invitational, but climbed up the leaderboard and finished in eighth place out of 19 teams.
“[The team] stayed a little bit more consistent throughout the round,” said BU head coach Bernie Herceg. “They didn’t throw away as many shots as they did the first round.”
The Bearcats finished the invitational with a total combined score of 25 over par on 593 shots. Once again, the team’s final round score was an improvement on its day-one performance, taking 294 shots in the final round on Tuesday, as opposed to the 299 they took the day before.
For the third consecutive invitational, it was freshman Justin Lane leading the way for Binghamton. Lane finished tied for 23rd on the individual leaderboard with a score of five above par for the tournament. His plus-two performance in the final round included a stretch of nine consecutive holes where he made par or better.
“It’s great to see him playing to his capabilities,” Herceg said. “He’s showing now the type of player he is and will be for our team. I’m really excited for him … he’s really showing what he can do.”
The other Bearcat freshman to participate this week, Nacho Glagovsky, did nearly as well. He and junior Zak Ottman finished one stroke behind Lane at plus-six in a tie for 29th. Excluding his triple-bogey on the 17th, Glagovsky kept his scorecard relatively clean on Tuesday, with two bogeys canceled out by two birdies.
It was performances such as those that allowed the Bearcats to move up the leaderboard in the late stages of Tuesday’s round. The team managed to come up with more par saves and avoided dropping more than one shot when it did bogey. The team took advantage of opportunities that were presented, such as the par-four, 306-yard seventh hole, the shortest par-four on the course, which four out of five Bearcats birdied. Sophomore Ryan Rodriguez really heated up toward the end of his final round, birdieing three of his final four holes to help BU in its final push.
In all, four of five Binghamton players finished in the top half of the leaderboard, which contained a total of 101 finishers. Taking home the top spot was sophomore David Powers of St. Peter’s University with a score of four-under. He was one of just four players to finish the invitational in the red.
On the team leaderboard, it was Drexel that compiled the best overall score to take home first place, finishing at five over par. The Dragons struggled in the second round, however, and Rhode Island made a run up the leaderboard to try and catch them, but ultimately fell five shots shy.
From here the Bearcats look forward to the remainder of the spring season and the looming Big Sky Championships. This weekend’s Rutherford Intercollegiate at Penn State is the only remaining invitational for Binghamton before it heads back to Nevada for the conference championships. Herceg is confident that the team can keep moving in the positive direction heading into the big event at the end of the month.
“We’re trending in the right direction,” Herceg said. “I’m really looking forward to the weekend down at Penn State. Hopefully everybody is going to be able to shoot some strong numbers and gain more confidence so we just carry that momentum into conferences at the end of the month.”
The Bearcats are set to play in the Rutherford Intercollegiate following a short three-day break. The invitational will take place this weekend on Saturday, April 14 and Sunday, April 15 from University Park, Pennsylvania.