BETHLEHEM, Pa. -- Scores were up in windy conditions today at Saucon Valley Country Club, but it did not matter to the Bucknell men's golf team, which captured its second victory in as many years at the Lehigh Invitational on Saturday. Sophomore J.P. Raftery (75) and freshman Peter Bradbeer (76) turned in two of the best rounds of the day in the field, and both finished in the top five individually.
Last year, Bucknell ran away with the Lehigh Invitational, winning by 14 strokes over the runner-up Mountain Hawks. This time around, Bucknell and Lehigh were tied after 36 holes with 609 strokes apiece. The Bison then holed four pars on the sudden-death playoff hole to capture the tournament for the second year in a row.
This was Bucknell’s 19th team championship since the start of the 2003-04 season.
The Bison came into the final round trailing Lehigh by one shot, 297-298. On Saturday, Bucknell's 311 total was good enough to get into a playoff, thanks in large part to Bradbeer's birdie on the 18th holes, as the Mountain Hawks compiled a 312. Hofstra finished third with a 611 total, followed by St. John's at 612 and Fordham at 614 to round out the top five in a 12-team field.
Bradbeer finished in fourth place with a 3-over-par 147 (71-76) for 36 holes. The fourth-place finish was the best of Bradbeer's young career, and it was his third top-10 in five starts this fall.
Raftery was two shots behind Bradbeer in a tie for fifth place at 149 (75-75). He had a strong finish, with his second straight eagle at the par-5 15th hole paving the way for a 2-under stretch over his final six holes of the day.
Raftery finished the fall season with a 72.3 scoring average, which eclipsed the previous Bucknell single-season record of 72.4, set by Andrew Cohen in the fall of 2009.
Fordham's Joseph Trim was medalist at 1-under 143 (71-72). Gerald Mackedon of St. John's was two shots back.
This was Bucknell's final event of the fall season.