After a strong start, the Rider golfers weren’t able to finish the job.
The Broncs opened up the St. Bonaventure Leo Keenan Invitational on a high note Sunday, coming out of day one in first place. They had a team score of 288, which was one shot ahead of second-place Duquense University.
Senior Tyler Brewington led the day one charge, shooting a 69 that was good for first place overall in the field of 74. Junior Eric LeFante had a solid day one, shooting a 71, and was in fourth place overall. Freshman Brent Wolgast was a shot behind LeFante, shooting a 72, and was in fifth place after the first 18 holes.
“I did get off to a rough start on day one,” LeFante said. “I started making a few birdies on the back nine and was able to come in fourth with a respectable round.”
It was on day two when the Broncs’ fortunes turned for the worse. The team shot a 304 on Monday, with seven teams posting lower scores. The Broncs fell from first place down to fifth in the 14-team field.
“Putting killed us this past weekend,” LeFante said. “Everyone putted poorly and that has been a main reason why we haven’t been finishing better.”
Even though the Broncs were unable to hold their lead, the team did have some bright spots during the tournament.
After coming close so many times this year, Brewington was finally able to seal the deal and won the individual event. He shot a 71 on Monday for a score of 140 and shot even par. He won the event by two strokes over St. Bonaventure’s sophomore Nathan Peck and Cornell’s sophomore Robert Cronheim.
This is the second time Brewington has placed first in the event. In 2004 he came in first as a freshman, and he finished in second place in 2006.
“I love this course and I felt very comfortable out there,” Brewington said. “I still didn’t play my best game, but I played well enough to win.”
LeFante shot a 75 on day two and finished in 12th place, with a total score of 146. Even though the Broncs didn’t finish strong, he said they still feel confident.
“The positive thing we are taking away is that we are still in the hunt during tournaments,” LeFante said. “It’s a great feeling to know that we have a chance to win every place we go and we don’t have to shoot lights out to win since there’s so much talent on our team.”
Wolgast had a day two score of 79 and finished in 32nd place. He did lead the whole tournament field in birdies with eight.
Freshman Brian Accorsini finished in 47th place as he shot a 76 on day one and a 79 on day two for a cumulative score of 155. Sophomore Kevin Krecicki finished in 70th place with a day one score of 84 and shot an 81 on the second day for a total of 165.
Rider had 25 birdies overall and finished with the lowest par three average of the 14 teams that took part in the tournament.
The host, St. Bonaventure University, won the tournament shooting a 297 on day one and a 283 on day two for a combined score of 580 and 20 over par. It was the third straight year the Bonnies won the event and their 13th title overall.
Duquesne University stayed in second place with a combined score of 585 at 25 over par. Third place went to Cornell University with a two-day score of 587, and Robert Morris University finished in fourth place with a 591 total score.
For their next tournament, the Broncs will travel to Ithaca, N.Y. for the Cornell Invitational. This two-day tournament will begin this Saturday at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Course.