APALACHIN, N.Y. – It was a history-making day for the St. Bonaventure University golf team Monday as the Bonnies captured victory at the Matthews Auto Collegiate Invitational hosted at The Links at Hiawatha Landing.
St. Bonaventure raced up the leaderboard in Monday's second round, rising from a tie for seventh entering the day all the way to the top with the best round in school history. The Bonnies finished 10-under on the day with a team score of 278, besting the program's previous best of 280 recorded during the 2005-06 season in the third round of the James Madison Invitational.
Bona closed the tournament at an 11-under 565 for 36 holes (287-278), finishing in a deadlock with Drexel, which was 10 shots ahead of the Bonnies entering the final round. St. Bonaventure won a tiebreaker thanks to having a lower fifth score than Drexel – Bona had no score higher than 73 on Monday while Drexel's fifth score was 77. Bona's 565 total also ranks as the lowest 36-hole score in program history, three shots better than a 568 tallied at James Madison in 2005-06.
The Bonnies and Dragons each finished one stroke ahead of Delaware (566) and three shots better than host Binghamton (568). Towson came in fifth at 569.
Monday's victory gives the Bonnies their second win this week – the team also captured the Little Three Championship on Wednesday. It also marks the first tournament win for the Bonnies outside of a Little Three or one played on their home course since 2007.
"I couldn't be prouder of these guys," head coach Ryan Swanson said. "I knew we were close when we played rounds in low 290s and this is a pretty great feeling. We had some really good teams when I was playing and we never sniffed a round like today so that just shows how impressive the guys were."
Junior Corey Long finished tied for ninth overall in the field of 90 competitors with a three-under 69 on Monday, closing at three-under for the tournament (72-69/141).
Fellow junior Patrick Sheerer also wrote another entry into the record book for the Bonnies with one of the best rounds in program history. Sheerer fired a six-under 66, matching the best round in Bonnies history shot by Andy Whalen in 2005. Sheerer's six-under also was the best score vs. par in program history. He finished the week 76-66/142 and tied for 16th.
Sophomore Brent Morgan also tied for 16th, shooting one-over 73 on Monday after his stellar round of 69 on Sunday.
"We played well at George Mason and our focus at Little Three and this week was to play the par fives better," Swanson said. "With some putts we knew we could win. Yesterday we were -8 on the par fives. That formula works."
Swanson said the team was able to mount momentum with the finishing holes on Sunday and kept things rolling in the final round.
"Brent had a great finish to shoot 69 (on Sunday) and put us in a pretty good spot," he said. "All five guys birdied their last hole and that momentum carried over into today."
"We've talked about where we want to be. We got there quicker than I expected which is a testament to how hard these guys are working," Swanson said.
The Bonnies return to action Oct. 16 at the Dayton Invitational.
1. St. Bonaventure – 565
2. Drexel – 565
3. Delaware – 566
4. Binghamton – 568
5. Towson – 569
6. Lafayette – 570
7. Siena – 572
8. Lehigh – 574
9. Bucknell – 576
10. LIU-Brooklyn – 570
11. La Salle – 581
12. Niagara – 589
13. Rider – 600
14. Ottawa – 601
15. Canisius – 603
16. Monmouth – 605
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