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Golf Setting The Bar High For 2012-13 Season

Fall Season Begins Saturday at CCSU Blue Devils Invite

September 7, 2012


Golf Setting The Bar High For 2012-13 Season

Contact: Mike Porter (sports1@binghamton.edu)

One-Two Punch
A season ago, the Binghamton golf program was looking for individuals to step up and assume not only the role of consistency and top performance on the course, but also of leadership. It was evident early on that both David Cellura and Bryce Edmister would be those players head coach Bernie Herceg could easily rely on.

“Having both of these guys back for another year is a big plus for our team,” Herceg said. “They are both willing to get better and willing to work to help lead this team. Their consistency will provide stability for our team and will be a key if we want to shoot low and compete for tournament titles.”

Edmister, a junior who hails from Webster, N.Y., turned in one of the finest sophomore seasons in school history. The lefty placed in the top-20 in eight of ten tournaments played, shooting a team-best score of 73.9 on average. At season’s end, he was garnered an All-America Sky first team selection and became just the sixth underclassmen in school history (dating back to 1988) to earn All-Region PING honors. Edmister was the lone America Sky player to make this list and one of just 44 (out of 155 players) underclassmen to be selected.

Team captain David Cellura is entering his final season for Binghamton and is ready to make it count. A year ago, Cellura had a habit of putting together some of the lowest rounds in school history. On two occasions, he fired rounds of five-under, tying for the second lowest 18 hole total in school history. In total, the four-year letterwinner had a pair of top-10 and top-20 finishes, including his best finish at the Philadelphia Big 5 Invitational where he finished sixth out of 113 individuals.

Supporting Cast
The Bearcats return five of the top six scorers from last year, one of which is junior Paul Andrews who had a breakout second season for BU. In 2011-12 Andrews provided great depth, enabling the squad to post a program-record scoring average of 298.9. His contribution was clearly on display at the Cornell Invite last fall as the Corning, N.Y. native helped guide the Bearcats to their third straight tournament crown in Ithaca. Andrews finished the 54-hole tournament at even par, finishing runner-up alongside fellow teammate and 2012 graduate Mike Surdey. Over six tournaments, he notched a scoring average of 75.8, good enough for third best on the team.

“Paul (Andrews) had a very good fall for us last year,” Herceg explained. “When some of our guys weren’t playing at their best, he stepped up big for us and turned in some great rounds. I look forward to him building off his performances from last season and bringing that same mindset to the team this fall.”

A pair of newcomers made an impact as well last season. Josh Holling, who transfered from Corning CC,  displayed a lot of promise over a stretch of six tournaments, posting rounds of three over or lower five times. Joining Holling was first year player Jack Sedgewick, who saved his best golf for the spring, wrapping up his freshman campaign with a 40th place finish (out of 120) at the Fireline Towson Invitational last April.

Newcomers
A pair of freshmen round up the 2012-13 squad for Herceg. Jesse Perkins, a native of North Babylon N.Y., joins the program after a successful four-year career at Archbishop Edward A. McCarthy HS. A two-time team MVP, Perkins became the first African American to win the FHSAA High School State Championship during his sophomore year.

The second newcomer, from Parkland, Fla. is Brandon Smith who played varsity all four seasons at Marjory Stoneman HS in Florida. He wrapped up his senior campaign with a 73.1 scoring average, guiding his team to the state tournament. Smith won the District 2A Championship this past season by posting a score of 69 (-3).

“Both of our incoming freshmen have a lot of playing experience and will be solid additions to our team. I’m looking forward to getting them some opportunities to compete at the collegiate level and hopefully in turn they will develop and be ready to move this program forward in the years to come.”

Fall Schedule
Binghamton has a total of six tournaments slated for the fall, headlined by a home event to be played at The Links at Hiawatha Landing beginning on October 7. The home tournament marks the first time BU has hosted an event since the America East championship back in 2007.

“We have not hosted a home event in awhile and are really looking forward to showcasing our home course, Herceg explained. “The Links is a great tournament golf course. It can be stretched out to 7,200 yards and the players will be using every club in their bag.  This course will separate the better teams because of its layout and challenge. Hopefully, because of our experience and comfort at Hiawatha, we will be able to compete for a tournament win.”

Before they tee it up at Hiawatha Landing, the Bearcats kick off the 2012 season at the CCSU Blue Devils Invitational hosted by Central Connecticut State this Saturday and Sunday. The two-day event stretches over 36 holes and will be played at the Wethersfield Country Club, a par-71 course located just south of Hartford, CT. The following weekend, Binghamton heads down state to compete in ‘The McLaughlin’ hosted by St. John’s University. Played at the well known Bethpage State Park Red Course, the 2011 event had a giant 18-team field that featured three teams who qualified for the NCAA championships.

After ‘The McLaughlin’, BU travels to nearby Ithaca to defend their title at the Cornell Fall Invitational. In fact, for the past three seasons, Binghamton has finished atop the team leaderboard at the very familiar Robert Trent Jones Golf Course. With a team score of 871 (+7) over 54 holes in 2011, Binghamton won its sixth tournament crown overall at the Big Red’s home course.

As noted earlier, golf returns to Binghamton’s home course in Apalachin, which is just a short drive from BU’s campus. The Bearcats will enter a pair of teams in the event squaring off against ten other Division I schools in a two-day event at the links style course.

The fall schedule wraps up with two tournaments including The Big 5 Invitational (Philadelphia, PA) and Bruce Williams Memorial (San Antonio, TX). No stranger to the Big 5 event, Binghamton has entered the competitive and large field four consecutive years, racking up a pair of top-5 team finishes. Their final fall event takes place in San Antonio where they will be competing in an event held by Division II member St. Mary’s (TX). The three-day event takes place at the par-72 Dominion Country Club—host site of the 2013 America Sky championship.

Outlook
With one tournament win last season, Binghamton is realistically looking to double that total. With a host of returners who have enjoyed great past successes, that goal is certainly within reach.

“I’m really looking forward to the start of this season,” Herceg said. “With the experience we have coming back this year, I believe we have the ability to attain the goals we have set for ourselves and develop into one of the top teams in the northeast.”

 

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