Setting the Scene
What: 2017 Bucknell Invitational
When: Saturday-Sunday, Oct. 7-8 (36 holes)
Where: Par-70, 6,224-yard Bucknell Golf Club, Lewisburg, Pa.
The Field: 17 teams (Bucknell, Canisius, Fairleigh Dickinson, Fordham, Hampton, Holy Cross, Humber, Iona, La Salle, Manhattan, Monmouth, Navy, Niagara, Ottawa, St. Francis (N.Y.), Saint Francis (Pa.), Wayne State)
Live Stats: BirdieFire.com
About the Bison
• Connor O'Brien, Chris Tanabe, J.P. Raftery, Peter Bradbeer and Jubal Early will comprise Bucknell's five-man lineup this weekend. Ashton Radvansky, Jack Gregor and J.B. Thompson will play as individuals.
• Bucknell's best tournament finish this fall was sixth in a field of 14 at the Quechee Club Collegiate Challenge, hosted by Dartmouth two weeks ago. Raftery was the low Bison and a top-10 finisher (T-7th), posting scores of 71-73 for an even-par finish.
• Last week, Bucknell opened 291-291 at the Macdonald Cup, but the Bison struggled on the final day and shot 309 to drop from a top-5 position down to 10th place. O'Brien had a strong showing, finishing T-9th with rounds of 70-71-75 on the par-70 course.
• Raftery has the team's low scoring average at 74.9, followed by O'Brien at 75.8 and Tanabe at 76.3.
• Bucknell has claimed four sub-par rounds thus far: Raftery's 1-under 71 two weeks ago in Vermont, O'Brien's 4-under 67 at Cornell, Tanabe's 1-under 71 at Colgate's Alex Lagowitz Memorial Invitational, and Raftery's 1-under 71 at Turning Stone.
The Bison at the Bucknell Invitational
• Bucknell has been very successful in its home tournament in recent years, winning six of the last 14 titles. The Bison had won it four years in a row (2007-10) before finishing fourth, second, fourth, sixth, third and second over the last six seasons.
• In addition to the four straight titles from 2007-10, Bucknell also won this event in 1981, 2003 and 2004. Bison winning individual titles include Rob Wagner in 1981, Kyle Moran in 2004, Stuart Lindgren in 2007, Jeff Pike in 2008, Andrew Cohen in 2009, and Dan Bernard in 2012.
• Last season, Bucknell shot 288-288 and tied for second place with Wayne State, six strokes behind champion Saint Joseph's. Three Bison placed in the top 10: Raftery (4th, 72-69), O'Brien (7th, 69-73) and then-senior John Edler (9th, 71-72).
• Last year's winning individual score was 3-under 137, by Lafayette's Reid Bedell and Saint Joseph's Michael O'Brien. O'Brien won the title in a playoff.
• Bucknell closes out the fall season in two weeks at the Lehigh Invitational at Saucon Valley CC. The Bison are the two-time defending champions at the event.