ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- J.P. Raftery earned Patriot League Rookie of the Year honors with a runner-up finish, and the Bucknell men's golf team held off Lafayette for fourth place as the 2016 Patriot League Championship ended Sunday at the U.S. Naval Academy Golf Course.
Army West Point's Dean Sakata ran away with medalist honors, firing a championship-record 11-under-par 202 to lead the Black Knights to the team title. Raftery and Lafayette's Art Griffin tied for second place at 2-under 211. Raftery moved into second place after making seven birdies in a second-round 67 on Saturday. In the final round, he moved to 7-under for the tournament after making birdies on three of his first five holes. He then made eight pars and five bogeys over his final 13 holes to slip back to 2-over, but that was still plenty good enough to garner low-freshman and First Team All-Patriot League honors.
It was all Army in the chase for the team title. The Black Knights finished 2-under as a team with an 850 total for 54 holes. Host Navy finished 22 strokes behind at 872, followed by two-time defending champion Loyola at 876.
Bucknell and Lafayette were in a tight race all day for the fourth spot. The Leopards briefly jumped ahead midway through the round, but the Bison nosed them out by two shots (895-897). Lehigh took sixth at 907, followed by Colgate (916) and Holy Cross (934).
Bucknell's top three finishers were all first-year players. Behind Raftery, freshman Jubal Early (76-74-76) finished T-17th, and freshman Connor O'Brien (76-72-81) placed T-21st. John Edler (77-78-79), Daniel Levin (77-81-77) and D.J. Magee (80-77-81) also competed for the Bison.
Raftery's 211 total was three behind Andrew Cohen's Bucknell record at a Patriot League Championship. Cohen shot 208 at West Point in 2009. Charlie Waddell posted 209 at Bucknell in 2005 and 210 at Navy in 2006.
Raftery is Bucknell's third Rookie of the Year, joining Cohen in 2007 and Peter Scialabba in 2012.