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America Sky Championship Preview

Winner of Twelve Team Field Earns NCAA Tourney Berth

April 27, 2012

America Sky Championship Preview

Live Scoring & Tournament Info

Contact: Mike Porter (

North Stonington, Conn.—The Binghamton University men’s golf team sets to take aim at their first America Sky Championship crown, with this year’s winner booking a trip to the 2012 NCAA tournament. After joining the America Sky in 2007 as an inaugural member, Binghamton and eleven other hopefuls will begin the 54-hole event Sunday, April 29 at Lake of Isles GC in North Stonington, Connecticut.

• WHO: 12 teams (Binghamton, Chicago State, CSU Bakersfield, Hartford, Houston Baptist, Northern Colorado, North Dakota, Sacramento State, Seattle, Texas-Pan American, Utah Valley, Weber State
• WHAT: America Sky Championship
• WHERE: North Stonington, Conn.
• WHEN: Sunday, April 29-Tuesday, May 1
• GOLF COURSE: Lake of Isles North Course- Par 72- 7,252 yards
The Bearcats began their season way back on September 4 at the Turning Stone Tiger Intercollegiate with a ninth-place finish. Sophomore Bryce Edmister began his stellar sophomore campaign off in style shooting an opening round 71 (-1) en route to an 18th place finish at four-over par. The fall was highlighted by the Bearcats’ performance at the Cornell Invitational at nearby Robert Trent Jones GC in Ithaca, NY. For the third consecutive year, BU took home the team championship crown, this time defeating 13 other schools. With a 54-hole total of 871 (+7), they held off runner-up Columbia by three strokes. No player shot over a 74 (+2) during the final round of play. Both senior Mike Surdey and sophomore Paul Andrews paced the Bearcats with runner-up individual scores of 216 (E). For both players, this marked their best finish of their careers.

After a strong showing at the Philadelphia Big 5 Invitational (6th out of 22 schools), the Bearcats put together their best 54-hole team total in school history to close out fall competition. At the F&M Bank Intercollegiate hosted by Austin Peay State University, Binghamton fired a three-round total of 859 (-5), finishing in fourth-place out of 16 schools competing. Edmister began the tournament on a blistering start, opening with a program-best 67 (-5). The lefty sophomore followed up with rounds of one-over and even to crack the top-10.

The spring started off much like the fall with back-to-back top-5 team finishes at both the GW Invite and Fireline Towson Invitational played in March. Edmister (T-6) and junior David Cellura (T-12) were on point at the GW Invite, highlighted by a final round 67 (-5) by junior David Cellura who equaled his best 18 hole total which he set back on September 13 at the Maryland Intercollegiate. Fifth-year senior Trevor Fiedler shined at the Towson Invitational with a three-over par score of 219 during the three-day event. Fiedler finished T-14 and recorded his best finish since last season when he placed tied for 12th at the Yale MacDonald Cup.

BU finished up their regular season tournament schedule at the Mizzou Intercollegiate (9th of 15) and most recently at the Wolfpack Spring Open (13th of 17). It was Edmister again who paced the Bearcats with an outstanding final round score of 69 (-3), placing tied for seventh at tournament’s end. For Edmister, it was his third top-10 finish of the season and fourth of his career.

• 1)Bryce Edmister (Sophomore)
• 2)David Cellura (Junior)
• 3)Trevor Fielder (Senior)
• 4)Mike Surdey (Senior)
• 5)Paul Andrews (Sophomore)

Binghamton heads into the America Sky tournament after a fourth-place finish a season ago, marking their best showing at the conference championship. Fifth-year senior Mike Surdey paced BU with a three-day total of 223 (T-8), as Weber State took home the team and individual crown in Scottsdale, Arizona.

This year, Binghamton is led by underclassmen Bryce Edmister, who’s scoring average is at a team-low 73.0.  The lefty has tallied three top-10 finishes, including a recent seventh place finish at the Wolfpack Spring Open. Another player to look out for is junior David Cellura. He’s not far behind Edmister in scoring average (73.6) and from the second spot has the capability of throwing out low rounds (two rounds of five-under this season). A pair of fifth-year seniors in Fiedler and Surdey should be a positive influence as they bring a wealth of experience to the forefront. Rounding out the line-up will be sophomore Paul Andrews, who had an outstanding fall season, with the third best scoring average (73.0) throughout four tournaments.

Sacramento State appears to be the early favorite, as they rank 100th in the most recent Division I collegiate rankings produced by Golfweek. The Hornets are led by senior Cameron Rappleye, who earned first-team America Sky honors a season ago and was the newcomer of the year back in 2009. Rappleye has a scoring average of 73.8, including a four-under par medalist performance at the Wildcat Invitational held in Layton, Utah back in October. The Hornets have registered eight top-5 team finishes, highlighted by their win at the Wildcat Invitational.

Both Utah Valley and Hartford appear to make strong cases to be in contention as well. Utah Valley is led by sophomore Mason Casper, who over nine tournaments has a staggering scoring average of 71.6. He led the Wolverines to a first-place finish at the season-opening Battle at the Tetons back in September with a remarkable 54-hole total of 202 (-14). Hartford has had a pair of top-5 team finishes and most recently put forth a strong sixth place performance at the Fireline Towson Invitational, a tournament which Binghamton competed in and finished ninth. Senior Matt Smith guides the Hawks with six top-10 finishes and a strong scoring average of 73.5.

Play for Binghamton begins Sunday, April 29 as round one kicks off at 8 a.m. in Stonington, Connecticut.



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