LEWISTON, N.Y. – For the third straight event, the St. Bonaventure University golf team captured victory as the Bonnies defeated rivals Canisius and Niagara in the 2017 Little Three Championship Thursday at Niagara Falls Country Club.
Thursday's win also gives the Bonnies their second consecutive Little Three title and 40th overall in the 64 editions of the championship.
Playing under sunny and warm but extremely windy conditions, scoring was difficult in this year's renewal. Despite playing through often howling winds, St. Bonaventure built a 10-shot lead following the opening round and dominated the second round to take the win by 26 strokes over second-place Canisius with a winning team total of 397-390/787. Canisius finished the day 407-406/813 while Niagara posted scores of 421-414/835.
Each team played six players and counted five low scores to account for the team standings.
Senior Patrick Sheerer took medalist honors playing as an individual. Sheerer recorded the low round of the championship with a 72 during the morning before closing with a final round 75 to finish at 147 for the day (+7). Sheerer captured the individual victory by three shots over teammates Dylan Glatz and Matt Abendroth.
With his win on Thursday, Sheerer earns entry into the 2018 Porter Cup. It also marked another strong day in the Little Three Championship for Sheerer who finished third in each of the past two years at the event.
Glatz, a junior, carded an opening round 76 before improving to 74 in the afternoon session for a 150 total. His performance Thursday marks his best as a Bonnie.
The top three individual scores belonged to Bonaventure players as junior Matt Abendroth was also three shots off the pace, finishing 74-76/150 (+10) for the day.
Freshman Jack Geise tied for fourth (78-74/152), also playing as an individual.
St. Bonaventure counted the scores of Abendroth as well as sophomore Nolan Ditcher (77-77/154), freshman Danny Gianniny (78-81/159) and senior Corey Long (81-78/159), who finished sixth and tied for seventh respectively, as well as junior Brent Morgan (87-78/165).
Also playing as an individual, junior Josh Roselli tied for seventh overall (79-80/159) among the 23 competitors from the three teams.
Sophomore Zach Chaddock was forced to withdraw during the first round due to injury.
With Thursday's win, the Bonnies have earned three straight victories for the first time since September 2007 after triumphs earlier this month at the full field Binghamton Intercollegiate as well as head-to-head over Siena in The Murray Cup.
Bonnies head coach Ryan Swanson also continues his winning trend in the Little Three Championship, moving to 6-0 personally against Canisius and Niagara. He was a part of four victories as a player before now leading his team to back-to-back wins as coach.
The winningest fall in a decade concludes for St. Bonaventure Oct. 29-30 in Estero, Fla. as the Bonnies tee it up in the Homewood/Hilton Garden Inn Airport Classic.
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