The Lehigh men’s and women’s golf teams are gearing up for the Lehigh Invitational Tournament at Saucon Valley Country Club. The men will compete Oct. 21 and 22, and the women Oct. 23 and 24.
For both teams, the invitational is the only home tournament of the fall season, and they are looking forward to the opportunity to play on a course they’ll become familiar with over the next few months. This tournament will be the second-to-last event of the season for the women’s team and the last for the men’s squad.
The women’s team started off its fall season notably, setting a Lehigh record for the lowest score in a 36-hole tournament by shooting a 615. That score was enough to place the Mountain Hawks in fourth place out of 13 competing schools.
The women’s team is filled with young talent including sophomore Aileen Jeong, who returns as the reigning Patriot League rookie of the year. She was also given first-team All-Patriot League honors as a freshman, while sophomore Reagan Jahn received a second-team All-Patriot league selection.
“Setting the all-time record in just our second tournament was great for us as a team,” Jahn said. “It goes to show that we have very good potential as a team.”
While the highlight of the fall season thus far came about from a group effort from the women’s team, the men’s season has been highlighted by an individual performance.
Freshman Owen Quinn won the Matthews Auto Collegiate Invitational at Binghamton University, the third tournament of his collegiate career.
“It was special to win in the fall of my freshman year,” Quinn said.
Quinn is one of four freshmen that joined the men’s team this year, which features no seniors and only one junior.
“We have a very young team, so in the first couple tournaments guys were getting their feet wet,” men’s coach Henry D’Alberto said. “But at the same time, this is the deepest team we’ve had in a while, and I believe we are starting to trend in the right direction.”
With their fall seasons coming to a close, both teams will look to use the opportunity of playing on their home course as a way to gather momentum going into the spring championship season.
The teams’ practices usually are held at the driving range and practice greens, but they’re adjusting with the upcoming tournament in mind. They will put their range practice on hold and instead will switch to the Saucon Valley Country Club with the goal of playing nine holes per day up until the tournament.
“We want get as familiar as possible with the course,” Jahn said. “More importantly, the greens, because that is an area where we can really take advantage of lowering our strokes.”
The prospect of a home tournament is not something the teams are taking lightly.
“We only get this opportunity once a year,” Quinn said. “Golf is unlike any other sport in that aspect, and you want to take advantage of the home course advantage and come out on top.”
The invitational is set to take place at Saucon Valley Country Club in Bethlehem from Oct. 21-24.