Mavs’ Bingaman finishes ninth at regional

Colorado Mesa University senior Brandon Bingaman climbed eight more spots Wednesday in the individual standings and cracked the regional top 10, but it wasn’t quite enough to get him to the NCAA Division II national tournament.

Bingaman shot 70 for the second straight day during the West/South Central Region tournament in DuPont, Wash., and finished in a tie for ninth place at 213, but he needed to be two strokes better to earn a spot at nationals.

Only the top two individuals not on a team that qualified for nationals — the top five teams in the regional advance their entire teams — punch tickets to the national championships. Bingaman was sixth among such individuals at the three-day regional played on The Home Course.

Bingaman said he was “pretty happy” with how he played overall. He rallied from a one-over-par 73 in the first round to shoot two-under in each subsequent round, moving up from a tie for 32nd on the first day and tie for 17th after Day 2.

Still, he thought he left some strokes on the course on the final day.

“I struck the ball well,” he said. “I hit all 18 greens (in regulation) and struggled with the putter a little bit.”

Wednesday marked the end of a fine college career for Bingaman, whom Colorado Mesa coach Paul Brown called “an exemplary young man and gentleman.”

“He had a terrific year, and we couldn’t be more proud of him,” Brown added. “He’s building for something bigger and better.”

Bingaman said he is going to try to become a professional, and it will start with playing amateur events this spring and summer. He’ll play events around the state and perhaps a few others around the West, but he said his home base will be Montrose, where the Fruita Monument graduate’s family now resides.

Bingaman said Colorado Mesa has been good to him.

“It’s been great,” he said. “I’ve grown a lot. I’m a vastly improved player. ... I’m a little sad it’s over.”


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