Bonnies look to finish strong at A-10 Championship

April 29, 2004

ST. BONAVENTURE - The St. Bonaventure golf team looks to close out its season with a strong finish this weekend at the Atlantic 10 Championship at the Newport National Golf Course in Newport, R.I.

The Bonnies will look to their four seniors to improve upon last year's eighth place finish. Head coach Steve Campbell believes this year's tournament will be a good opportunity for the seniors to cap their college careers.

"A good performance this weekend, especially by the senior class, is something they'll take with them," he said.

Senior Jeff Tracy, who won medalist honors at the Robert Morris Colonial Classic in the fall, will lead the Bonnies this weekend. Tracy, who is averaging 78.5 strokes-per-round this season, was named Atlantic 10 Co-Performer of the Week for the week of October 13-19 for his performance at the Robert Morris Classic.

"I'd love to see him garnish all-conference honors or finish in the top 10," Campbell said.

Campbell said he would look to Tracy and fellow senior Mike Schall to keep the team focused.

"Jeff and Mike have been there and done that, so hopefully they can show the younger guys what it is like," Campebll said.

Shall, who posted a three-round 254 at last year's championship, has played just five rounds this year.

Seniors Vince Puglia and Chris Lucas will compete at the A-10 Championship for the first time in their careers. Each has had one top-20 finish this season and Puglia is coming off an eighth-place finish at the Duquesne University Invitational on April 19.

Freshman Ben Howe, who has been the Bonnies' top finisher in three tournaments this year, rounds out the five-man squad. He, along with Tracy, is the only golfer to have played in every round this season.

"I know he'd like to conclude his freshman year with a good championship," Campbell said.

Knocking off defending champions Xavier will be difficult as Campbell expects several teams to compete for the title.

"Xavier and Rhode Island are very, very strong. Richmond and George Washington have had very good seasons," he said. "The conference has gotten very good."

The Bonnies' key to success this weekend will be a combination of low scores and a solid four-man score.

"It's important that we get four solid scores and obviously you need someone, if not two, to go pretty low," Campbell said. "If we can accomplish those two things, we'll be alright this weekend."

Tee times for the opening round on Friday is set for 8 a.m.