Setting The Scene
What: 2017 Patriot League Championship, hosted by Bucknell
When: Saturday-Sunday, April 29-30 (36 holes Saturday, 18 Sunday), 8 a.m. starts each day
Where: Lewisburg, Pa. (Par-70 Bucknell Golf Club)
The Field: Army West Point, Bucknell, Colgate, Holy Cross, Lafayette, Lehigh, Loyola, and Navy
Live Scoring: BirdieFire.com
About the Bison
>> Bucknell will be hosting the Patriot League Championship in Lewisburg this weekend. Practice rounds will be held on Friday afternoon, and then the two-day, three-round tournament will begin on Saturday, April 29. Automatic bids to the NCAA Championship will be awarded to the team and individual champions.
>> This will be the sixth time that Bucknell hosts the Patriot League Championship, and the first time since 2012.
>> The Bison will feature J.P. Raftery, Peter Bradbeer, Jubal Early, John Edler, D.J. Magee, and Connor O'Brien in their lineup this weekend. The Patriot League Championship includes six golfers per team rather than the typical five, with the top four individual scores counting toward the team score.
>> Raftery, who made his spring debut earlier this month, is coming off a T-5th finish at the Yale Spring Invitational (74-70, +4). His 72.3 fall average was the lowest single-season scoring average in team history. Raftery was the runner-up at last year's Patriot League Championship, earning him Rookie of the Year and First Team All-Patriot League honors. His 74.3 spring average and 72.8 full-season average are the best on the team.
>> Bradbeer put in his best three-round performance of the season at the Manor Intercollegiate, where he finished 16th and had the two lowest rounds on the day for a Bison. He has a 76.4 spring average.
>> At the Finegan Invitational earlier this month, Early led all Bison with a two-round score of 153. He brings a 77.2 spring average to the Patriot League Championships.
>> O'Brien has competed at every tournament this spring after playing all but one tournament in the fall. He has a 77.1 spring average.
>> According to the latest GolfStat collegiate rankings, defending-champion Army West Point is the favorite with a national ranking of 151. Loyola would be the No. 2 pick with a 181 listing, followed by Lehigh (245), Bucknell (250), Navy (251), Colgate (252), Lafayette (263), and Holy Cross (289).
Bucknell at the Patriot League Championship
>> This will be the 27th Patriot League Championship since the league's inception in 1991. Bucknell has hosted the Patriot League Championship on five previous occasions, with the first time being in 1994. In the last championship here in 2012, Bucknell finished fourth overall with a team score of 892.
>> Last season, the Patriot League Championship was held in Annapolis, Maryland, and the Bison finished in fourth in the eight-team field. The Bison compiled an overall score of 895, trailing Army (850), Navy (872) and Loyola (876).
>> Bucknell last won the Patriot League Championship in 2009. It has won the event three times (2009, 2007, 2006).
>> Five of the six Bison that will be competing in this year's championship have competed in the tournament in the past. This will be the fourth Patriot League Championship for seniors Edler and Magee, and the second appearance for sophomores Raftery, Early, and O'Brien. Bradbeer, a freshman, will be making his Patriot League Championship debut.