BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The Lehigh men’s and women’s golf teams will wrap-up their fall schedules this weekend as they co-host the Lehigh Invitational at Saucon Valley Country Club. The Mountain Hawks will be joined by seven men’s teams and seven women’s teams for the two-day, 36-hole event, which will take place on Saucon Valley’s Grace Course.
Saucon Valley Country Club, founded in 1920, has grown from 18 holes and a clubhouse to become one of the largest private clubs in North America. It encompasses 800 acres and consists of four courses, including the Weyhill Course, Old Course, Grace Course and Short Course. The Grace Course opened with nine holes in the fall of 1953 with the second nine opened for play in 1958. Named for Eugene Gifford Grace (Lehigh Class of 1899), longtime president and chairman of Bethlehem Steel, the Grace Course measures 7,051 yards from the championship tees and features greens nearly twice the size of those on the Old Course but without the severe contours.
This weekend’s tournament marks the fifth and final event for the Lehigh men this fall. The Mountain Hawks started strong, with a second place finish at the Colgate Invitational and a win at the Bucknell Invitational. Lehigh finished 13th out of 16 teams at the Hartford Hawk invitational in its most recent tournament appearance. Last time out the Mountain Hawks fell 7-6 to rival Lafayette in the second edition of the President’s Cup, a Ryder Cup-style match play event between the two schools.
Freshman Harley Abrams has enjoyed a strong start to the season, with a second place overall finish at the Colgate Invitational. He was also among Lehigh’s top finishers at Bucknell and Hartford along with sophomore Carlos Kim. All eight Mountain Hawks on the roster will be in action this weekend, five in the main lineup and the two others as individuals.
Last year Lehigh finished sixth at this event, with Doug Marcincin ’12 the top finisher for the Mountain Hawks, followed by Kim.
This year, Lehigh will be joined by Bucknell, Colgate, Fordham, Lafayette, Rutgers, Siena and Villanova in the men’s field.
The Mountain Hawk women were last in action at the Rutgers Invitational, October 5-6 where they finished ninth out of 21 teams. Lehigh also finished sixth at the Bucknell Invitational and 12th at the Yale Invitational. The Mountain Hawks have had good balance in their lineup with different players seemingly leading the way in each tournament. Junior Crystal Lee led Lehigh at the Bucknell Invitational, while senior captains Chelsea Michalek and Ginette Schapira paced the Mountain Hawks at Yale. Schapira and freshmen Tess Jennings and Nicole Feierberg were Lehigh’s top finishers among scoring players at Rutgers, while sophomore Kelly Moylan had a strong showing competing as an individual, as she tied for 16th overall.
Last year Lehigh finished fourth in an eight team field, with Lee the top finisher.
This weekend, Lehigh’s official team of scoring players will consist of Schapira, Michalek, Moylan, Lee and Feierberg, while senior Natalie Lansing, junior Elle Sander, sophomores Melanie Dickens and Alyssa Scheyd and Jennings will compete as individuals.
The seven women’s teams joining Lehigh for the event include: Georgetown, Princeton, Rutgers, St. John’s, Seton Hall, Siena and Yale.
Action at the Lehigh Invitational begins Saturday at 9:30 a.m. with the first 18 holes from the Grace Course at Saucon Valley Country Club. Sunday’s final round features a shotgun start with play also beginning at 9:30 a.m.