BETHLEHEM, Pa. – J.P. Raftery and Peter Bradbeer are both in the top 10, and the Bucknell men’s golf team is just seven shots off the lead after 36 holes at the Patriot League Championship, hosted by Lehigh at Saucon Valley Country Club. Bucknell opened the championship with a 296 team score, then posted a 307 as wind and rain moved in during the afternoon round.
Sunday’s final round will be a shootout, as the top six teams are separated by just 10 strokes. Loyola has the 36-hole lead at 596, followed by Navy (598), Lehigh (599), Army West Point (601), Bucknell (603) and Colgate (606). Lafayette (615) and Holy Cross (624) occupy the final two positions.
Five teams shot under 300 in pretty weather conditions in the morning, but only Army (296) did so in round two as a front moved through later in the day.
Bradbeer was the story for the Bison in the morning. After an early bogey on the second hole, Bradbeer played the next nine holes in 6-under par. He followed the bogey with three straight birdies, including a terrific two at the 232-yard, par-3 third hole. He added birdies at 8, 9 and 12 and sat at 5-under until a double-bogey at the par-4 17th left him with a 3-under 69 and a tie for the lead with Navy’s Charlie Musto.
Bradbeer could not sustain that sizzling play in the tougher conditions, however, and he dropped to T-10th after an 81.
Meanwhile, Raftery moved in the other direction, following up an opening 75 with a 74 in the afternoon. That was one stroke shy of the best score in the field in round two, and it moved him up to T-5th on the individual leaderboard. Raftery made five birdies in that second round, including three in a four-hole stretch to close out his first nine.
Raftery eagled the par-5 fourth hole in the morning and was 1-under at the turn, but he also doubled the 17th and shot 40 on the back. He quickly atoned for it, shooting a 36 on the same nine going out in the afternoon.
Navy’s Musto followed his opening-round 69 with a 75, and he has the individual lead with an even-par total of 144. Lehigh’s Ryan Kelly is two shots back.
The Bison will tee off on the 10th hole starting at 9 a.m. Sunday morning, paired with Army and Colgate. Follow live scoring at GolfStat.com