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Golf earns first bid to Division I championship

After a brilliant 2002-03 season which saw the team win more tournaments than any Division I program in the entire country, Binghamton has been rewarded with its first NCAA Division I championship berth. The Bearcats, coached by John Affleck, will head to Alabama for the East Regional May 15-17 at Auburn University. The regional is one of three 54-hole tournaments across the country. A total of 27 teams and six individuals were selected for each regional, with the top 10 finishers at each site advancing to the NCAA Finals, May 27-30 in Stillwater, Okla.

Binghamton had to earn its bid the hard way, since the America East Conference champion doesn’t receive an automatic berth to the national tournament. BU, which was selected with an at-large bid, is seeded No. 25 at the regional, behind fellow New England region powers Rhode Island (No. 23) and Yale (No. 24), but ahead of Liberty and Jackson State. The regional features two of the top three teams in the nation (No. 1 Clemson and No. 3 Wake Forest) and 10 teams ranked in the Top 25, according to the latest Sagarin/GolfWeek.com rankings.

In Affleck’s final spring after 15 years as varsity coach, the team is sending him out in style. Among the seven tournament titles won by the Bearcats are the program’s first America East Championship, its first ECAC crown and a huge win at the Rhode Island Invitational. In 13 tournaments during the fall and spring, BU went 157-19-3, for a win percentage of 88.5 percent.

Ironically, even with standout senior captain Adam Fuchs at the top of the lineup, the team owes much of its success to freshman Brad Moulton, who shared medalist honors at Rhode Island and has the team’s best stroke average in the spring (75.7).

Affleck finishes out the year by earning the rare distinction of being named Coach of the Year at all three NCAA levels. He was a five-time regional honoree at Division III (1992-96) and won again at Division II (1999). This spring, Affleck was selected as the America East Coach of the Year.

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Last Updated: 10/14/08