The Binghamton golf team placed seventh out of 11 total teams at the Cornell Fall Invitational, finishing the weekend with a total score of 591/23 over par.
“It was good to see us come back today and shoot some really good scores,” said Binghamton head coach Bernie Herceg. “It’s good for the guys to build off this to get some more confidence when we’re competing in some bigger tournaments.”
On day one, BU got off to a slow start with a total score of 307 as the opening round was suspended due to darkness. Fifth-year Evan Sitts and sophomore Brandon Conner had the strongest performances on the first day of the tournament for the Bearcats, shooting even with par and seven over par, respectively.
“It was very wet,” Herceg said. “We couldn’t finish the first round because of the weather. We adjusted. We’ve played in a lot worse weather in the spring.”
Meanwhile, junior Shawn Colella and sophomore Harrison Blech both finished the first day with a score of 79/8 over par. Rounding out the team’s performance on day one was junior Tynan Jones, who shot 10 over par. Freshman Jackson Vesper, who competed as an individual at the competition, shot six over par on day one with a score of 77.
“We didn’t play well the first round, but [Sitts] played really solid for us,” Herceg said. “Other than that the rest of the team really was struggling a little bit.”
At the end of day one, the Bearcats found themselves tied for last place, looking to move up the leaderboard heading into the final round of day two.
On day two, Binghamton improved its performance, finishing the final round with a team score of 284 while also climbing four spots on the leaderboard to take home seventh place overall.
“[We wanted to] just go out and score better,” Herceg said. “Manage yourself around the course well and when I talk about managing yourself, play the golf course the way it is, be disciplined, don’t be too aggressive.”
Conner, BU’s top performer of the tournament, shot five under par on day two for a score of 144/2 under par throughout the entirety of the weekend, good enough to finish tied-for 12th place. Blech nearly secured a top 20 finish, earning a tied-for 21st place finish, with a final score of 147/5 over par.
“[The performance on day two] was very exciting to just see some putts drop in and see some guys shoot some great numbers,” Herceg said. “Our goal was to improve our scoring, and we did quite a bit with the rounds of [Conner and Blech].”
In addition, Sitts finished tied for 31st with a total score of 149/7 over par. Colella and Jones rounded out the scoring for the Bearcats with final scores of nine over par and 19 over par, obtaining a tied for 46th and 64th place finish, respectively.
One of Herceg’s mentioned goals this weekend was to get Vesper more familiarized with the courses on the East Coast, as he is a Texas native. Ultimately, Vesper finished with a score of 152/10 over par.
“He’s from Texas” Herceg said. “I want him to get as much experience as he can for the courses that are up here. [The courses] are a little bit different, [this weekend’s] course especially too, it had some hills to it … the grass up here is a lot different.”
Siena won the tournament with a team score of 10 under par. Temple and Colgate rounded out the top three finishers, with scores of five over par and six over par. Ultimately, the Bearcats’ strong performance on day two earned them a seventh-place finish for the weekend.
“Our consistency will get better,” Herceg said. “[This weekend] showed what hard work will do.”
Binghamton will return to action next week to compete at the Matthews Auto Intercollegiate, beginning on Sunday, Oct. 1 and concluding on Monday, Oct. 2. Tee times are scheduled to start at 8 a.m. at the Links at Hiawatha Landing in Apalachin, New York.