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@BONNIESGOLF: 2019 SEASON PREVIEW

The St. Bonaventure golf team opens up its 2019 fall season by traveling to Hamilton, N.Y. for the first tournament of the season Sept. 7-8. In all, the Bonnies will play four regular tournaments as well as making a week-long trip to Ireland in October.

The Bonnies boast an experienced roster, returning seven players with previous experience in the program including three members of last year's Atlantic 10 Championship lineup. Senior Zach Chaddock and juniors Danny Gianniny and Christian Chapman were in the conference tournament last year.

"We have a lot of experience coming back, guys with tons of A-10 championship experience. We are looking for them to be leaders on and off the golf course and produce results." - Head coach Ryan Swanson

Danny Gianniny enters his third season with the program after two standout years. A four-time Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week as a freshman, he posted a season scoring average just over 73 last year including a top-10 finish at the Atlantic 10 Championship, one of six top-20 full field finishes during the year.

"Danny has been our rock the last two years. He’s coming off a top-10 at the A-10 championships and had a solid summer," Swanson said. "He’s destined for some big things with us. He expects a lot out of himself and we know he’s capable of doing it.”

Zach Chaddock begins his senior season after three years as a regular member of the lineup. He competed in 13 events last year, including a 29th place finish at the conference championship. He was at his best in match play - he won all three matches at the Atlantic 10 Match Play Championship, helping Bona to third, and also captured both available points at The Murray Cup vs. Siena.

"Zach can teach the younger guys a lot. He’s a great person, a great teammate. He’s been our glue guy ever since he got here," Swanson said. "We know he’s going to be solid and give us good rounds. I always know what I’m going to get from him. He’s a great leader and someone for the rest of the guys to look up to.”

Nolan Ditcher also enters his senior season after three years of extensive tournament experience. He has played in 20 events during his collegiate career, and has at times been key to Bona's success such as when he delivered the then-fifth lowest 54-hole total in program history (212) as a sophomore. He showed his potential again during fall qualification rounds, winning by eight strokes over his teammates.

“Ditch has been so active around campus and in the classroom. He graduated in three years and we can’t say enough about how hard he works," Swanson said. "Now we have him at a limited class workload and he’s always been incredibly talented. He cannot travel this weekend as his father is getting married, but we look forward to having him back for the Little Three and Cornell.”

Jack Geise had a breakout sophomore season in 2018-19, highlighted by a standout fall season. He registered a 73.7 scoring average during the fall and won the Little Three Championship to earn a spot in The Porter Cup. In all, he played in 10 events during the year.

"Jack got to experience The Porter Cup which is one of the greatest events in the world this summer," Swanson said. "He’s hitting it very well and he’s looking to duplicate what he did last fall.”

Christian Chapman joined the program last spring after an impressive freshman year at Delaware, but was limited to just two events due to a knee injury. Still, he showed his potential with a second round 76 and final round 75 at the A-10 Championship, then had the lowest final two rounds at this summer's New York Amateur Championship as he finished eighth.

"Christian is a very good player and very focused on what he wants to do. He is finally back to 100 percent and he showed that at the New York State Amateur," Swanson said. "He’s mentally and physically stronger than ever and that performance over the summer gives him a lot of confidence coming into the season."

Sophomores Erik Stauderman and Andrew Lemay also return for their second seasons. Stauderman played in eight events as a freshman, finished second at the 2018 Little Three Championship and was named the Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week once during the fall. Lemay had a strong summer and qualification rounds this past week. "He’s tremendously improved and was great this summer in tournaments in Massachusetts. He works so hard. He’s improving at a drastic rate," Swanson said of Lemay. "Erik learned a lot traveling with us last year and can potentially be at the top of the lineup when he brings his A-game."

The Bonnies also welcome three freshmen - Jack Bailey, Andrew LaCongo and Lance Sininger.

"There’s always unknowns with freshmen. There’s a ton of talent with the three of them, but it is all about how they adjust to college life and this level of play," Swanson said. "There’s certainly potential there to make us much better this year. We’re looking forward to seeing where those guys blend in this fall."
At one point on the front nine on the A-10 championship's final day, the Bonnies had surged to third on the leaderboard before a tough back nine pushed the team to seventh.
"They know they can play with anybody," Swanson said. "We can’t have hiccups like we did coming down the stretch, but we know we can give ourselves a chance to win anywhere. We need to learn how to finish better, but we know we have the talent."
The highlight of the fall schedule is an October trip to Ireland where the Bonnies will play at Portmarnock, Island Club, Waterville, Tralee and Doonbeg golf courses.
"It’s a once-in-a-lifetime trip," Swanson added. "We’re going to have fun, we’ll play with some alumni out there. We have a group of 26 or 27 people going, all made possible by Ed Murray who has been terrific to us. We are playing five of the best golf courses in the world and the guys couldn’t be more excited."
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