Coming off a tie for 13th place at the Rutherford Invitational over the weekend, Binghamton returned to action earlier this week at the Wildcat Spring Invitational — scoring 895/43 over par en route to a sixth-place finish to wrap up its lone back-to-back tournament run of the year.

“Some of the guys, they’ve been working on their game [and] struggling a little bit,” said Binghamton head coach Bernie Herceg. “So they really fought hard to produce some scores and I was proud of them to do that because it could have went the other direction.”

Over the course of Monday’s two rounds, two Bearcats found themselves seeded within the top 20 overall by the end of the day. Locked into a tie for 18th were fifth-year Evan Sitts and sophomore Brandon Conner, both shooting 147/5 over par. Conner improved upon a 74/3 over par round 1 to a 73/2 over par score in round 2 after putting -1 under par in the front nine to jump into a top 20 placement by the end of the day.

“[Sitts and Conner] had a little course knowledge, but they didn’t get a practice round in because of how it all went,” Herceg said. “The other three guys came down Sunday, they got a practice run and we didn’t … so you don’t know the conditions. The firmness of the fairways, the firmness of the greens, how the greens are receiving the ball and all that stuff. So it was great to see them adapt as well as they did.”

Elsewhere in the field, freshman Jackson Vesper finished day one tied for 26th with a scorecard of 149/7 over par after cutting three strokes from his round one score in round two. Finishing day one toward the bottom of the tournament were juniors Tynan Jones and Shawn Colella, placing tied-for-41st with a tally of 153/11 over par and 46th with a tally of 157/15 over par respectively.

“[Vesper] worked really hard the last two weeks on his game,” Herceg said. “I mean, if we weren’t down at the course he was in the simulator indoors at different hours of the day when nobody’s around putting in the extra time, because he knew we had a tournament coming up, so he was preparing himself as much as possible.”

The action on Tuesday consisted of just one round of play but saw a massive improvement in play from Sitts. After his final round on Monday saw the fifth-year shoot a 75/4 over par, Sitts came back into form with a 71/even-par third round to rise into a 13th overall placement with a final tally of 218/5 over par. Supporting Sitts’ outing was his efficiency in par 4s, with an average of 4.09 strokes which was tenth best among the field. Sitts continued his success from previous tournaments, securing his third straight top 20 finish.

“[Sitts] told he hit maybe 15 or 16 greens,” Herceg said. “He’s two under par with three holes to go and those last three holes were the toughest greens on the golf course, and unfortunately, he missed a couple of putts coming down the stretch, or else he would’ve been under par which would have been great to see. Overall, a great performance. His ball striking was excellent for that day, let alone the tournament.”

BU’s second-best placement at the tournament’s end would be from Vesper, whose final scorecard of 224/+11 was good enough for a tied-for-31st finish. Slipping down the rankings into 36th overall was Conner, who finished with a score of 227/14 after going 80/9 over par in round three. Meanwhile, Jones improved to a tied-for-37th finish with a scorecard of 228/15 overall while Colella’s final tally of 235/22 over par overall placed him in a 44th-place tie. With their overall score of 895/43 over par, Binghamton left Glenside, Pennsylvania with a 6th place result.

“Everybody played this weekend, so it did expose some things that they need to work on,” Herceg said. “There’s no doubt team-wise, and it’s from [Sitts] to the to the rest of the guys. We’re just losing a few strokes. We’re throwing some away. We’re just not executing as best as we can at certain times during the round and those are some of the things we have to clean up.”

The Bearcats have one more tournament on their agenda to close out the 2023-24 campaign — the Northeast Conference Men’s Golf Championship from Friday, April 26 to Sunday, April 28. Tee times are to be determined at the Callaway Resort and Gardens in Pine Mountain, Georgia.