September 24, 2006

Bonnies lead Keenan Invitational by three

Sept. 24, 2006

OLEAN, N.Y. - Host and defending champion St. Bonaventure leads by three shots after Sunday's first round of the 18th St. Bonaventure Leo Keenan Invitational at Bartlett Country Club.

The Bonnies totaled 289 (+9) on Sunday. Juniors Ryan Swanson and Andy Whalen both carded one-over par 71s, sophomore Brennan Payne shot 72 and sophomore Jim Gifford shot 75.

Siena is in second place at 292 in the 15-team field with Rider one shot back at 293. Cornell is in fourth place at 295 followed by Ottawa (296), Bucknell (301), St. Bonaventure's Brown team (303), Duquesne (303), Drexel (305), Niagara (306), Long Island-Brooklyn (306), Canisius (307), Saint Francis (308), Robert Morris (312), and Fordham (316).

Amidst gusty winds on water-logged Bartlett course, Siena's Brian Bigley was the only player to break par - and he did so in style. Bigley shot a tournament record, six-under par 64, which gives him a six shot lead. The senior opened his round with an eagle on the par-four first hole and did not card a bogey on the day. Bigley's 64 bettered the previous Keenan record round of 68 by four shots.

Duquesne's Drew Ellis is in second place at even-par 70. The St. Bonaventure duo of Swanson and Whalen, Cornell's Robbie Fritz and Drexel's Tyler Brewington are all tied for third place at 71.

Freshman Nathan Peck led the Bonnies' Brown team with a 72. Senior Ben Howe, playing for the white team, shot 79. The remainder of the Bonnies' Brown scores were: senior Mike Pochily at 73 and juniors Norm Strotman, Alex Bianco and freshman Bill Bergin all at 79.

"It was a great opening round for us under difficult conditions," said St. Bonaventure coach Steve Campbell. "We got very good performances by Andy (Whalen), Ryan (Swanson) and Brennan (Payne). We've got some good teams right on our heels, so we'll have to at least duplicate today's performance if we want to have a shot at defending our title."

The 36-hole event concludes on Monday with a shotgun start at 9:30 a.m.