GRASONVILLE, MD – It was another memorable day Sunday in a season full of them for the St. Bonaventure golf team.
The Bonnies erased a three-shot deficit entering the final round of the Towson Spring Invitational, racing ahead of the 17-team field to capture a six-shot victory at Prospect Bay Country Club.
St. Bonaventure finished with a team score of 303 against cold, blustery conditions for the second day in a row. Bona finished with a 603 total for the tournament, besting the 609 posted by Central Connecticut. Towson (612), Sacred Heart (614) and Fairleigh Dickson (615) completed the top five.
For St. Bonaventure, it is the team's third victory in tournament play this season – the most for the program since scoring four in 2007. The Brown and White previously captured wins in the Binghamton Intercollegiate and Little Three Championship as well as a head-to-head win over Siena in The Murray Cup during the fall season.
Bona has started the spring strong as well – a tie for third in the Atlantic 10 Match Play Championship and an eighth place finish in a strong field of 24 less than two weeks ago at the Kingsmill Intercollegiate had the Bonnies feeling confident heading into this weekend.
It was a confidence that was well-placed.
"I can't remember the last time where we were probably the favorite on paper going into a full-field event. It is one thing to win, but to win under that pressure in incredibly cold and difficult conditions when every team is coming for you says a lot about our guys," St. Bonaventure head coach Ryan Swanson said. "Our goal is always to give ourselves a chance to win on the last nine holes and we did just enough today to get it done and come from behind."
At the front of the Bona rally was junior Brent Morgan who continued what has been a breakout season. The reigning Atlantic 10 Golfer of the Week claimed his second consecutive top-five finish as he finished the weekend tied for fourth in the field of 90 players with a 149 total following rounds of 74 and 75 (+5). Morgan was two shots back of Matt Shubley of Sacred Heart and Kobdech Rodrat of Towson who each finished at 3-over 147. Andrew Morris of Fairleigh Dickinson was third at 148.
"Brent is reaching his full potential at the right time," Swanson said. "As a coach it has been awesome to sit back and watch him go."
Matt Abendroth was close behind his teammate, taking a tie for sixth on the individual leaderboard following his final round 75 for a 150 total (+6). Abendroth's seven birdies on the weekend tied for third-most in the field.
"Matt has been so consistent this spring," Swanson continued. "He had to wait his turn in the lineup and be patient and he has jumped on the opportunity and has been one of our best players this spring."
Corey Long finished the weekend at 77-78/155 and tied for 24th.
"Corey made a late birdie both rounds which proved to be huge and Danny gave us a solid round yesterday," Swanson said. "Zach got back to form today and really played 17 great holes today outside of one hiccup on the 17th hole."
Playing as an individual, Nolan Ditcher carded rounds of 81 and 79 for a total of 160.
Sunday marks the largest win for the Bonnies in a full field tournament since capturing the 2009 Leo Keenan Invitational by 13 strokes.
The Bonnies will look to maintain their momentum when they head back to the state of Maryland next weekend for the Navy Invitational, their final tune-up before the Atlantic 10 Championship.
1. St. Bonaventure – 603
2. Central Connecticut – 609
3. Towson – 612
4. Sacred Heart – 614
5. Fairleigh Dickinson – 615
6. St. John's – 621
7. Manhattan – 622
8. Youngstown State – 623
9. Fairfield – 629
10. Robert Morris – 633
11. St. Francis (PA) – 635
12. LIU Brooklyn – 636
13. Bryant – 637
14. St. Anselm – 650
15. Towson 'B' – 657
16. Goldey Beacom – 658
17. Maryland Eastern Shore - 681
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