steamroll to first America East golf title
ENDICOTT, N.Y. - Binghamton capped a near-perfect spring with a commanding 18-stroke victory at the America East Golf Championship, contested at En-Joie Golf Course. The host Bearcats fired rounds of 291-290=581 to outdistance runner-up Hartford (599), Boston University (660) and Vermont (664) in the two-day event. It was the first Division I golf title for BU, which was runner-up to Hartford in last spring's championship.
Junior Joe Kunz (Webster, N.Y./Monroe CC) shot a 2-under 70 in Tuesday's final round to capture medalist honors. Kunz, who began the 2002-03 season with back-to-back medalist honors, now ended the season with low honors again. He secured the individual title with an eagle 2 on the par-4 16th hole. After driving the green on the 310-yard 16th hole, he sank a 15-foot putt. One hole earlier, Kunz dropped in a birdie putt on the par-4 15th.
Senior captain Adam Fuchs (Plainview, N.Y./Plainview JFK) carded rounds of 72-73=145 to earn runner-up honors. Rounding out the BU 1-2-3 sweep was freshman Brad Moulton (Orangeville, Ontario), who shot 73-74=147. Junior Keith Hendrickson (Syosset, N.Y.) shot 73-77=150 to place seventh, and freshman Keith Crawford (Lockport, N.Y.) came in with 79-73=152 to tie for ninth.
Head coach John Affleck was selected as America East Coach of the Year. He now owns the rare distinction of earning coaching honors at all three NCAA levels. Affleck was a five-time region coach of the year at Division III (1992-96), and also earned Division II regional honors in 1999.
The conference crown puts the finishing touches on a spring that saw BU finish either first or second in four straight regional tournaments. The Bearcats now appear to be a lock for one of three NCAA at-large berths allotted to the New England region. Counting the fall season, BU won seven tournaments - the most of any golf program in the entire nation.
"When we began our season, winning the America East championship was our primary goal," Affleck said. "The last four weeks have been incredible. With considerable pressure, the boys all met the challenge."
The NCAA tournament selections will be made on May 5, with regional play set for May 15-17.
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