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Bonnies Knock Off Morehead State, Fall To Florida Atlantic In Opening Day at Match Play Championship

Senior Matt Abendroth won both of his head-to-head matches Monday. (Photo: Scott Eddy)
Senior Matt Abendroth won both of his head-to-head matches Monday. (Photo: Scott Eddy)

Full Day One Results (PDF)

WESTON, Fla. – A morning victory over Morehead State in the opening round of the Atlantic 10 Match Play Championship highlighted the first day of spring competition for the St. Bonaventure golf team Monday at Weston Hills Country Club.

The Bonnies, seeded fifth in the eight-team head-to-head tournament at the 6,910-yard layout, captured a 4-2 win over fourth-seeded Morehead State in the opening round. Despite the Atlantic 10 Match Play name, the field includes non-conference teams Morehead State, Florida Atlantic and Oakland (Mich.) as well as A-10 members St. Bonaventure, Saint Joseph's, Dayton, George Washington and George Mason.

Matt Abendroth, Brent Morgan, Zach Chaddock and Danny Gianniny all won their matches for the Bonnies victory during the morning round.

Abendroth started a strong day of play by defeating Zach Smith 3 and 1. Gianniny captured his match by a 6 and 5 final over Nick Wilkins while Chaddock won over Zac Viminitz 2 and 1 and Morgan squeaked out a win over Ryan Gillum 1-up.

The morning win, which moved the Bonnies into the winner's bracket of the tournament for the second consecutive year, sent SBU into a second round match-up against top-seeded Florida Atlantic.

There, the Bonnies started down in their matches but rallied to make it a tight finish before FAU ultimately took a 3.5-2.5 decision.

FAU and St. Bonaventure met in the third-place match of last year's event where the teams tied, 3-3.

On Monday, however, only Abendroth, who won 4 and 3 over Lynes Behling for his second triumph of the day, and Chaddock, who won 1-up over Bruce Morrison, were able to take victories over the Owls. Gianniny finished his match with Sully Zagerman all square to also earn a half point for the Brown and White.

Ultimately, though, the Owls earned wins from Karan Nalam (2 and 1), Brian Dolehide (7 and 5) and Patrick Poate (2 and 1) to seize the match.

"Sometimes you play well and lose. Today we played 36 great holes of golf, especially from Matt, Danny and Zach," St. Bonaventure head coach Ryan Swanson said. "I couldn't be more pleased with where we are at this early in the spring. We beat a solid Morehead State team and came up a hole or two short of knocking off the No. 1 seed. We are excited to get after it Tuesday and play for third place against Oakland."

That will leave the Bonnies in the third-place match for the second consecutive year when they face Oakland on Tuesday morning. The Bonnies and Grizzlies are set to begin their match at 8:22 a.m.

Florida Atlantic will face George Washington in the championship match while Dayton goes head-to-head with Morehead State in the fifth-place match and Saint Joseph's will play George Mason for seventh-place.

St. Bonaventure 4, Morehead State 2
Matt Abendroth (SBU) def. Zach Smith (MOR) 3 and 1
Brent Morgan (SBU) def. Ryan Gillum (MOR) 1-up
Zach Chaddock (SBU) def. Zac Viminitz (MOR) 2 and 1
Danny Gianniny (SBU) def. Nick Wilkins (MOR) 6 and 5
Joe Muschnong (MOR) def. Erik Stauderman (SBU) 2-up
Tyler Hillyer (MOR) def. Jack Geise 6 and 4

Florida Atlantic 3.5, St. Bonaventure 2.5
Matt Abendroth (SBU) def. Lynes Behling (FAU) 4 and 3
Zach Chaddock (SBU) def. Bruce Morrison (FAU) 2 and 1
Danny Gianniny (SBU) vs. Sully Zagerman (FAU) All square
Karan Nalam (FAU) def. Erik Stauderman (SBU) 2 and 1
Brian Dolehide (FAU) def. Jack Geise (SBU) 7 and 5
Patrick Poate (FAU) def. Brent Morgan (SBU) 2 and 1

- By Scott Eddy, Director of Athletics Communications

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