LEWISBURG, Pa. -- The Bison men's golf team returns to Annapolis, Maryland, this weekend for the 2016 Patriot League Championship. The 54-hole event runs Saturday and Sunday at the U.S. Naval Academy Golf Course. Live scoring will be available at GolfStat.com.
The Patriot League Championship uses a play-six, count-four format, and Bucknell will send out a relatively young lineup featuring three freshmen (Connor O'Brien, Jubal Early, J.P. Raftery), a sophomore (Daniel Levin) and two juniors (John Edler, D.J. Magee).
Despite the youthful roster, Bucknell has played some excellent golf at times in 2015-16, highlighted by a pair of tournament wins. The Bison closed out the fall season with a win at the Lehigh Invitational, and they captured the Yale Spring Invitational two weeks ago.
O'Brien, Early, Raftery, Levin and Edler were all in action at the USNA GC just last week, where the team finished sixth at the Navy Invitational with scores of 297-302 on the par-71 track. Levin was the low Bison, finishing T-15th with a 149 total (73-76) for 36 holes. The best round of the weekend was Raftery's opening-round 72.
Levin owns Bucknell's best spring scoring average at 75.1 and goes into the No. 1 spot in the lineup for the Patriot League Championship. All eight of his rounds this spring have been between 73-78.
O'Brien is enjoying a tremendous rookie season, and his 74.8 average for the full year (including the fall season) is the best on the squad. He has five top-10 finishes in 2015-16, including a runner-up at the Lehigh Invitational.
Levin (76.1), Edler (76.1), Magee (76.4), Early (76.4) and Raftery (76.8) all have full-season averages of 76.8 or better. Edler was runner-up at the Yale Invitational and placed third at the Lehigh Invitational. Magee and Early both shot 68 in the second round of the Donald Ross Invitational for the team's low round of the year.
Loyola is the two-time defending Patriot League champion. Bucknell, which won titles in 2006, 2007 and 2009, will be looking to move up after a seventh-place finish a year ago at Colgate's Seven Oaks GC. Edler (T-20th) was Bucknell's top finisher last season.
This will be the sixth Patriot League Championship held at the USNA GC, and it is the site of Bucknell's first PL title in 2006. Charlie Waddell was the medalist with scores of 69-70-71, as he led the Bison to team scores of 299-298-299. Bucknell tied for fifth place the last time the championship was held in Annapolis in 2011.
The Patriot League team champion will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Regionals, as will the individual champion if he is not a member of the winning team.