Big Bo Keefe's medal-winning 76 led the way as the Harvard golf team gained an eight-stroke victory in the Greater Boston Intercollegiate Tournament at the Concord Country Club yesterday.
The scores weren't very impressive, but Crimson men finished high in the individual standings. Bob Sinclair, one of the first men off the course, fired a 77 77 for second place. And Bruce Lo Pucki made a fine comeback after a weak start to tie for third.
The win was Harvard's first since 1964. Last year the Crimson placed a disappointing third with a horrendous average of 87 strokes per player. Boston College, last year's winner, finished fourth yesterday, 17 shots behind.
Only the lowest scores of the seven men on each squad count in the team competition. Sophomores Paul Oldfield (82) and Tom Wynne (83) rounded out Harvard's scoring for a 396 total. Roger Wales (85) and captain Brian McGuinn (87) finished out of the money.
Northeastern placed second at 403. Peter Baranowski turned in an incredible 45, 34--79, and another Husky, Dave LeMaistre shot 78. Tufts was third with 405, B.C. fourth (411), M.I.T. fifth (419), and B.U. sixth (433). Brandeis did not field a full team. They're on vacation.
Concord is a short (6343 yards) but heavily wooded course. Nearly everyone in the 44-man field was playing the layout at first sight, and that could account for the high scoring.
It couldn't be blamed on the weather. It was warm with hardly a breeze blowing. Still, only three other men besides the Crimson leaders broke 80. Par is 71.
Keefe, who just took up the game a few years ago, started his round slowly, then caught fire.
He started on the tenth hole where he knocked his second shot into the woods and ended up with a double-bogey. He played the next five holes one-over and then let loose.
Keefe played 16, 17, 18, and 1 in four under par. On the 16th, a short 435-yard par five, he walloped a long drive, knocked a five-iron onto the green and rimmed his eagle try from 20 feet.
He birdied the next hole, a 492-yard par five, by dropping a short putt after a fine wedge shot. He made a routine par on the wide-open 18th and then moved on to the first.
At the first, another short 468-yard par five, the husky junior mashed a drive nearly 300 yards, then plucked a five-iron up near the green. Keefe calmly knocked a wedge into the cup for an eagle to put him one shot under par through ten holes.
But the next four holes were ruin. He missed a three-footer to bogey the second, lost a ball in the woods for a triple-bogey seven at the third, and then bogeyed the next two. The rest were routine pars, but that six-over-par stretch wrecked what could have been an excellent round.
Bob Sinclair was doing well at the halfway point, too. He was even par after ten holes, with two birdies and two bogeys. But the senior's short game, which is what he relies on, began to deteriorate, and he finished bogey, double-bogey for a six-over 77.
The win was a big one for Harvard as the Crimson continued to do well in matches where it did poorly last year. Harvard's dual meet record is 8-2 with the important part of the schedule coming up.
Yesterday's victory indicates that there is hope for a high finish in the Easterns this weekend and a chance to end Yale's Ivy supramacy in the big one here on May 10.