Alex Vik, Harvard's D'Artagnan of the links, dueled playing partner Peter Tervainen from Dartmouth for 36 holes over the Agawam Hunt golf course in the Ivy League Championship yesterday. Vik reeled off rounds of 73 and 69 to finish at even par, but Tervainen riposted by matching Vik's 69 in the afternoon after carding a morning round of 71 to come away with medalist honors.
The linksmen had to swallow a disappointing third place finish as a team behind Princeton and Yale. Harvard came into the clubhouse after first round action trailing the Elis by a mere stroke and two strokes ahead of the Tigers. Fighting mounting gusts over the 6,317 yard layout in East Providence, the linksters' scores spiraled in the afternoon, as they finished with an aggregate score of 620, nine strokes back of Princeton.
Behind Vik, Spence Fitzgibbons went around in 81, 76 for a 157. Fitzgibbons' score put him eighth in the individual standings for the second consecutive year, though only the top seven finishers earn All-Ivy honors.
Playing at number three for the Crimson, freshman Jim Dales netted a 36 hole total of 159. Dave Paxton, a laconic Kentuckian, was hitting the ball sweetly during his morning round of 75 but ballooned to a costly 87 the second time around. Jon Chase strung round of 85 and 83, as his first eighteen was marred by a quadruple bogey when his ball embedded under the lip of a bunker.
Tervainen's two-stroke victory was no fluke. He brings to the tee the tactics of an overeager hammer thrower. Tervainen was the runner-up in the Massachusetts Amateur Championship this year, and won the NCAA long driving contest last year.
Vik's threesom began the morning eighteen on the 6th hole, with Vik quickly picking up a bogey after his tee shot alighted under on of the many pines that line the fairway. He came back to birdie the 7th, a short par four with a tricky crosswing and a green bearded by bunkers.
Tervainen continued to play meticulous golf from tee to green while Vik took a wet bogey on the dog leg 15th when he hooked a 5-wood into the drink. He rolled in a birdie putt on number 17 but Tervainen smaked in a 40-footer to hang on doggedly.
Vik uncorked a brilliant scoring salvo going around the last four holes in two under fours to draw within two of Tervainen. He feathered a seven-iron onto the par three second but misread the break on his birdie putt over the undulating green.
Vik finished eagle, birdie, and par. On the third, a 502 par five, he rifled a three-wood 15 feet from the cup and rapped the eagle putt into the cup. He birdied the fourth by hitting a driver off of the fairway into a strong headwind and onto the apron of the green.
Vik's closing 69 could have easily been a 65 as he took three putts on the ninth and 12th holes. He cut Tervainen's lead to a stroke by chipping in from off the green on number 12.
He foozled his chances by taking a critical bogey on the 16th when his six-iron flew the green. Vik's ball came to rest draped under a plant root, twined by branches, behind a mound. The whole shot should have been contracted out to a capable excavation company. Vik resorted to a wedge, lacking a steam shovel, and the ball appeared with about a pound of mixed solids, plopping down 20 feet from the pin.
The putt fell by the wayside and someone else besides Alex Vik took away the Ivy golf crown for the first time in three years.