Bearcats want to make most of 2nd chance
College Football Videos
Tim Barto and his St. Vincent golf teammates got the second chance they wanted.
The Bearcats will compete in the NCAA Division III Men's Golf Championships for the second consecutive year this week at the Grandover Resort in Greensboro, N.C., and Barto, a Kittanning graduate, said he and his teammates are motivated to produce a better showing.
Last year, St. Vincent competed in the championships at the Sandestin Golf Resort in Destin, Fla., but the performance was far from the team's best.
The Bearcats missed the team cut and finished in the bottom 10 with a two-round team score of 81-over-par. Barto struggled through rounds of 87 and 89 last year, but after he and his teammates won the President's Athletic Conference title and the automatic bid to the NCAA Championships last month, they knew they would get another shot on the big stage.
“We didn't prove ourselves last year, and I think we're going back down with a little bit of anger,” Barto said. “I think last year, we were a little happy just being there and a little complacent, but there's still no excuse for what we shot down there.”
Four of the five golfers expected to compete for St. Vincent played last year at the NCAAs.
Senior Derek Lingafelt (Penn-Trafford), junior Micah Markantone (Franklin Regional) and sophomore Jake Reed (Latrobe) all were in the lineup with Barto in Florida, and those four and freshman Ben Biss (Latrobe) made up the lineup that repeated this year as PAC champions. Lingafelt was the team's best at last year's NCAAs, but even he finished at 17-over, and no Bearcats golfer shot two rounds lower than 85.
With that as motivation, Barto has been eager in preparation for this year's NCAAs, which begin with the first round Tuesday.
“We get two practice rounds on the course, and we were already doing our research about it online,” Barto said. “We're not going down there with a score in mind. We just want to play each shot, one at a time, and stay in the moment.”
With a lineup filled by WPIAL products — all 12 players on the Bearcats roster are from Western Pennsylvania — Barto said there's also some motivation to represent their hometowns, in addition to their college.
“It definitely is a good thing that we're all from around here and sort of represent Western Pennsylvania and the WPIAL. It's nice to show that kids from local schools can go on to do something like this,” Barto said.
Barto's game has improved since he arrived at St. Vincent, and this year, he earned first-team all PAC honors after a top-five finish in the conference tournament.
While tweaks to improve his putting and short game have helped Barto shave strokes off his scores, that hasn't been the biggest change. He credits his coach, Thomas Cline, for helping him develop into a steadier player, and he hopes that will come through on the course this week in Greensboro.
“The biggest thing that has changed has been my mental game. We have a great coach who has done so much for us. I can't thank him enough for what he's done for us as a team,” Barto said.
“Playing golf in college and getting to go to NCAAs twice now has been such a great experience. I never want to take any of it for granted and want to enjoy every minute of it.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- District college game of the week: Washington & Jefferson at Mount Union
- District college notebook: IUP senior puts Stamp on program
- Duquesne gets better of Robert Morris again
- Thomas Jefferson grads competing with new Carlow men’s basketball team