Over the weekend, the Binghamton golf team returned to action for the first time since October as it competed in the Carpetbagger Classic in Urbana, Maryland. BU kept consistent over the two-day tournament, as a seventh-place finish on day one only dropped to a ninth-place finish with a final score of 610. Individually, freshman Brandon Conner led the line for the team, finishing tied for 11th overall.

“The competition was pretty good,” said Binghamton head coach Bernie Herceg. “It definitely served a purpose for us, to get out from the cold weather, get down on grass [and] hit some golf shots instead of just hitting into a net, chipping and putting indoors, so we’ll definitely build off this next week. But overall, we had a couple guys post some decent scores on day one, you know, [sophomore Tynan Jones] and [Conner] really played solid. In the second round, [Conner] finished strong and had a great tournament for him. Finished in the top 20, so it was great to see. Some of the guys played a little bit better [in the second round], and it’s good to just get some solid rounds under our belt.”

BU remained hot and cold on day one of the invitational, as its seven competing golfers all remained spread out among the leaderboard even by the end of the day. Binghamton would maintain a combined score of 303 by the end of the day, keeping it in the middle of the pack on the overall leaderboard, tied for seventh.

Binghamton’s competitors were able to keep pace on day one on an individual basis as well. Notably, Conner and Jones tied for 12th on Saturday, with both golfers shooting one over par with scores of 73. Senior Evan Sitts sat tied for 29th while shooting four over in the first round.

“Just a great performance,” Herceg said. “[Conner] has been working hard all winter at his swing and keeping his short game in check the best he can, and it’s paying off. He hit a lot of quality shots today, and yesterday, especially under the conditions. So it’s great to have him playing really solid so early in the year for us, and I look forward to see how he progresses, as well as the team going into the rest of our spring season.”

Day two saw more of the same, but a slight decline in the Bearcats’ performances overall. Conner continued a solid outing by shooting two over par with a score of 74. Conner’s second day put his final tally at 147 for three over par for the weekend, finishing tied for 11th. Jones dropped away from his teammate on day two, shooting seven over with a score of 79, placing him tied for 31st at the end of the tournament, scoring 152 in total.

Overall, Binghamton would fall to tied for ninth after 36 holes. It remained relatively consistent, however, scoring 307 on the day, accumulating a 610 final score for the Bearcats in the end.

“I’m very optimistic,” Herceg said. “Our fall wasn’t the strongest, but we’re a young team, we have three freshmen, the rest sophomores and one senior [Sitts] is our captain, and he’s going to be staying one more year … but we’re a younger team. In the fall, the guys got a lot of experience and we’re going to keep getting experience here in the spring, so we’re only going to be stronger. How much work the guys put in on the offseason will definitely pay off. I saw it even this week. We’re going to have a stronger spring, and I’m really excited to see how the guys perform here for the rest of the year.”

BU’s other performers on the weekend include sophomore Shawn Colella, who finished tied for 38th overall shooting nine over par with a score of 153. Sitts shot eight over on the second day, putting him down to 12 over par in total with a score of 156, good enough for tied 47th place.

Binghamton will return to Maryland next weekend in the Battle at Rum Point, beginning on Saturday, March 25. Tee times are set to start at 8 a.m. in Berlin, Maryland.