ITHACA, N.Y. – One of the strongest rounds in recent memory moved the St. Bonaventure University golf team up the leaderboard and into a fourth place finish after battling for victory Sunday at the Cornell Invitational.
The Bonnies found strong play throughout the lineup to record a team score of 281 at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Course at Cornell University, finishing the tournament 290-288-281/859 (+7). St. Bonaventure flirted with the overall team lead all day, ultimately coming home just four shots behind overall winner Temple (855). Yale was second at 856 while host Cornell finished third (857).
St. Bonaventure sophomore Nolan Ditcher capped an impressive weekend by firing a one-over 72 in the final round, including a trio of birdies, to tie for fifth overall out of 90 players. Ditcher completed the weekend at one-under 212, three shots off the pace set by Yale's James Nicholas (-4). Only six players finished the tournament in red figures. After shooting 68-72 on Saturday in the first 36 holes, Ditcher's 212 total for the tournament is tied for the fifth-lowest 54-hole score in program history.
Morgan, who finished 73-74-68/215 for the week, carded four birdies on Sunday and just one bogey to tie for 13th overall. He lit up the opening nine, playing the front in three-under 33 before coming in with an even-par 35 on the back. The 68 fired by both Morgan and Gianniny on Sunday ties for ninth in the program record books, just two off the all-time Bonnies record. Morgan also put up the eighth-lowest 54-hole total in Bona golf history.
Gianniny, playing just his second collegiate tournament, birdied the par-3 fifth, then recorded an eagle on the par-5 sixth to set the tone for his round. Two more birdies along with just one blemish – a bogey on the par-4 14th – completed his stellar round on the 6,904-yard layout. He finishes his tournament 73-75-68/216 for a tie of 17th on the individual leaderboard after beginning the final day tied for 34th.
Senior Corey Long and sophomore Zach Chaddock were each solid to round out the scoring, both registering two-over 73 on Sunday. Long (78-69-73/220) finished tied for 26th while Chaddock (76-73-73/222) came home tied for 33rd.
"We gave it everything we had and all five guys played tremendous golf to put us in a position to win," St. Bonaventure head coach Ryan Swanson said. "That is always our goal going into any event. I am very happy with where we are at two weeks into the season and really excited about the success that is coming."
Along with the individual success, Sunday's round ranks as a memorable one in the team record books. The final round 281 logged by the Bonnies is tied for the team's third-lowest ever with the second round of the NBT Bank Collegiate Classic during the 2006-07 season. Only last year's final round of the Binghamton Invitational (278) and third round of the James Madison Invitational in the 2005-06 campaign (280) were lower than Sunday's team score. St. Bonaventure's total team score of 859 is also the third-lowest 54-hole total in program history.
The Bonnies will look to continue their momentum next Monday and Tuesday at the George Mason Patriot Intercollegiate held in Chantilly, Va.
1. Temple – 855
2. Yale – 856
3. Cornell – 857
4. St. Bonaventure – 859
5. Dartmouth – 861
6. Drexel – 874
7. Columbia – 877
8. Delaware – 883
9. Penn – 884
10. Binghamton – 887
11. Saint Joseph's – 888
12. Colgate – 893
13. Bucknell – 897
14. Siena – 913
15. Brown – 918
16. Canisius – 926
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