What: Lehigh Invitational
When: Friday-Saturday (18 holes Saturday at 9:30 a.m.; 18 holes Sunday at 8:30 a.m.)
Where: Saucon Valley CC, Bethlehem, Pa.
The Field: Bucknell, Fordham, Hofstra, Iona, Lafayette, Lehigh, Manhattan, Monmouth, Rider, Siena, St. John’s, St. Peter’s.
Live Scoring: GolfStat.com
About the Bison
>> Bucknell closes out its fall season at the Lehigh Invitation on Friday and Saturday at Saucon Valley CC. The Bison are the defending champion after running away with the title here last season.
>> Connor O'Brien, Jubal Early, Ashton Radvansky, Peter Bradbeer and J.P. Raftery comprise Bucknell's lineup. The five-man squad consists of a freshman (Bradbeer) and four sophomores. Senior D.J. Magee will play as an individual.
>> Bucknell has had a solid fall, with 10 different players competing in at least two tournaments each. The Bison have averaged 295.6 as a team this fall, five strokes better than last season.
>> Last time out, Bucknell posted rounds of 286-294-289 in a seventh-place finish at the Donald Ross Intercollegiate in North Carolina. O'Brien was the top finisher for the Bison, placing T-19th (72-74-72).
>> Raftery has been Bucknell's top performer this season, building off his second-place finish at the Patriot League Championship in the spring. He already has three top-10 finishes in four starts with a T-5th at Colgate, a T-4th at Bucknell and a T-9th at George Mason. His only finish outside the top 10 was a T-16th at Binghamton when he finished at 2-under par (69-73). Raftery's 71.8 scoring average is the best on the team, and he has a chance to break Andrew Cohen's single-season mark of 72.4, set in the fall of 2009.
>> Bradbeer has enjoyed a solid debut season. He shot 68-71 for a 5-under 139 total at the Matthews Auto Collegiate Invitational on Oct. 2-3, good for a T-6th finish. The rookie has a 73.2 scoring average in 11 rounds this fall. Four of those rounds have been under par, and eight of the 11 have been 74 or better.
>> Early finished T-8th at Cornell in mid-September, the best of his career. He posted rounds of 77-70-73, with the 1-under 70 a personal best. He had two more good showings at Binghamton (73-75) and the Donald Ross (74-74-71) and is averaging 75.7 on the season. Early is the only Bison who has played in every tournament this fall.
The Lehigh Invitational
>> Bucknell is one of three Patriot League teams in the 12-team field, joining Lafayette and host Lehigh.
>> Paced by a 2-3 finish from O'Brien and John Edler, the Bucknell men’s golf team ended the 2015 fall season on a high note, sprinting to a runaway victory here. The Bison outdistanced host Lehigh by 14 strokes for their first team title since winning the 2010 Bucknell Invitational. O’Brien began the final round tied for the lead after opening with a 2-under-par 70 on Friday, but he finished as runner-up, three strokes behind first-round co-leader Lucas Trim of Villanova. O’Brien totaled 147 over 36 holes, while Edler finished alone in third place at 149 (72-77). With frost in the forecast for Saturday morning, the teams played 27 holes on Friday and needed to play just nine in a delayed start on Saturday. The Bison had a sizable lead coming into the final nine, and their 607 total (299-308) bettered runner-up Lehigh at 621 (309-312).
>> In addition to last year's victory, the Bison have also finished second here three times, in 2006, 2007 and 2008.
>> Bucknell has posted three runner-up individual finishes at Lehigh in the last 10 years: Charlie Waddell in 2006, Rahul Desai in 2007 and O'Brien last year.
>> Saucon Valley CC has hosted four Patriot League Championship. Bucknell's best finish here was second in 2008. The Bison also placed third in 1996, fifth in 2003 and fourth in 2013.