Setting the Scene
What: 2017 Lehigh Men's Invitational
When: Friday-Saturday, Oct. 20-21 (36 holes)
Where: Par-72, 7,091-yard Grace Course at Saucon Valley Country Club, Bethlehem, Pa.
The Field: 12 teams (Bucknell, Colgate, Fairfield, Fordham, Hofstra, Iona, Lafayette, Lehigh, Monmouth, Rider, Siena, St. John’s)
Live Stats: GolfStat.com
About the Bison
• J.P. Raftery, Jubal Early, Connor O'Brien, Chris Tanabe and Peter Bradbeer will line up for Bucknell. The Bison will be paired with Lehigh and Rider in the opening round, with tee times starting at 9:30 a.m.
• Bucknell is coming off a strong performance at its own invitational two weeks ago. The Bison finished second to Wayne State by just a single stroke after posting rounds of 291 and 281. Raftery's 3-under-par 67 in the second round was the best of the weekend. Raftery (T-6th), Early (T-8th) and O'Brien (T-8th) all finished in the top 10. Bucknell's 281 was tied for the fourth-best score in team history, and the 572 total was tied for the fifth-best 36-hole mark.
• Raftery has the team's low scoring average at 74.3, followed by O'Brien at 75.3 and Tanabe at 76.1. Bucknell's team average has dipped below 300 to 299.9 for the season.
• Bucknell has claimed five sub-par rounds thus far. Raftery has three of them, a 3-under 67 last time out at the Bucknell Invitational along with 1-under 71s at the Quechee Club Collegiate Challenge and the Turning Stone-Tiger Invitational. O'Brien posted a 4-under 67 at the Cornell Invitational, and Tanabe had a 1-under 71 at the Colgate Invitational.
The Bison at the Lehigh Invitational
• Bucknell has won this event in each of the last two seasons, with one victory coming in dominant fashion and the other in a playoff. In 2015, Bucknell ran away with the Lehigh Invitational, winning by 14 strokes over the runner-up Mountain Hawks. Last season, 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.
• Bucknell also won the Lehigh Invitational in September of 1974.
• The Bison will have four starters back who teamed up to win last season's event. Raftery, Bradbeer, Early and O'Brien were in the lineup. Bradbeer shot 71-76 and finished in fourth place, while Raftery was T-5th with rounds of 74-75 in windy conditions.
• Bucknell's fall season is complete.