Following last week’s strong third place finish at the Cornell Invitational, the Red faces a new challenge at the Binghamton Invitational beginning on Sunday.
The Red returns to the links course at Hiawatha Landing for the first time since 2004 with revenge in mind.
“I would like to go out and beat Binghamton just because it’s their home course and they just came over to Cornell and won the Cornell Invitational,” said junior Zach Bosse, who finished second at the Cornell Invitational with rounds of 70 and 73. “I’d like to go over there and hopefully repay the favor.”
Junior Carl Schimenti agreed with Bosse, focusing his sights on the Bearcats.
“I think our main competition is going to definitely be Binghamton,” he said. “They’re probably the favorites going in.”
It was of little surprise, then, when asked if Cornell had developed any friendly rivalries with any other squads, that Schimenti immediately mentioned Binghamton.
“Three of the guys on our team all played on the same section during high school and four or five of the Binghamton guys also played in that section,” he said. “So we’ve all played junior golf against each other … It’s good to compete against people you’ve known for a while.”
Despite recently earning its highest finish as a team since 2007, the Red still looks to improve from last week’s performance in the Cornell Invitational, according to Schimenti.
“As a team, we can be really optimistic that we didn’t play great but we still managed to finish third,” he said.
Bosse agreed with his teammate, expressing his pleasure at how the members performed “both individually and as a team.”
“Finishing third, it was a solid number to finish as a team, considering how poorly the lineup played,” he added. “It tells me that even though the majority of the team was playing poorly, we’re still capable of posting decent finishes which lends itself to the hopeful thought that once we get our game in gear and once we get back in tournament mode and get comfortable again, we’re going to be able to work and gel as a team and … Keep climbing that leaderboard.”
While Bosse conceded that while Binghamton has a home course advantage, he is very comfortable with the links-style golf at Hiawatha Landing.
“People think of [links as] rolling hills, kind of wide, with tall grass lining both sides. And it’s very representative of the course I played at home, growing up,” he said.“It’s a course style I’m very comfortable with and I’ve been around for a long [time] so I’m very hopeful we can play the course [during] the practice round and immediately have everyone very comfortable with the layout and ... Ready to play some good golf.”
As autumn kicks in the Red is also tasked with a new challenge — the weather.
“The weather is something we check religiously coming up to the tournament,” Bosse said. “It’s something that you just need to be aware of … Up here in the Northeast you get wind and rain a lot, so it’s something we have to deal with. And even during the Cornell Invitational on Saturday, we had a rain delay that took us off the course for four hours after playing nine holes and after the delay we had to finish the other nine. It does a lot to throw kids off once they are taken off the course and then they’re just thrown right back on. Weather plays a lot into tournament golf.”
However, despite the fall weather changes, the team is confident in dealing with the unpredictable conditions.
“Almost all of us are from the Northeast,” Schimenti, an Ithaca native, added. “We’re probably going to be pretty consistent … Depending on the conditions that could be good or bad. If it’s really bad, rainy and windy, that probably favors us because that doesn’t affect us too much.”
Despite the number of unknowns presented to the Red at Hiawatha Landing, Bosse is optimistic about the team’s progression.
“Golf’s an interesting game — you go from extreme ups to extreme downs … But I like where the team’s head is right now,” he said. “Everybody’s starting to get together for practice rounds, everyone is looking like they’re in control of their swing … I am very comfortable going into the next tournament and I really see the light. We can keep and keep improving as the season goes on and really put up solid numbers by the end of it."