The Crimson linksters parlayed strong rounds from the bottom players on their ladder to swamp MIT and Bates yesterday in a rare match play format at the Brae Burn Country Club in West Newton.
Harvard won six of its eight matches, while in stroke play. Tom Edwards and Peter Smith, playing at number seven and eight respectively, finished as co-medalists tied at 78.
The match was something of a landmark in Harvard golf, as a freshman woman Leslie Greis played number one. She lost her match five and four. However, she had her moment in the spotlight when she stood on the same first tee where Walter Hagen began his playoff round to win the U.S. Open in 1919, and outdrove both her male opponents before the players from all three squads.
Playing behind Greis, Gene Purdy dropped his match three and two. From there on in, though, the Crimson swept as Randy Millen was three up with two to go, Jon Chase won three and two, and Ron Himmelman closed out his match on the 15th hole.
Harvard's predominance was not at all apparent at the outset as after the first nine holes, only Peter Smith had a clear advantage in his match. Edwards had carded a 38 going out but was still trailing, as his opponent holed out a brace of transcontinental putts.
Yesterday's match gave Donovan an opportunity to rest some of his regular players, as Greis spelled captain Alex Vik. Before the match, Donovan was not aware that the teams would be playing match play, which pits the individuals in each threesome against each other on a hole by hole basis. Greis consequently found herself playing "head to head," as she put it, against MIT's Jaime Flatbush on the tesselated 6218 vard Donald Ross layout.
According to Donovan, "Flatbush is a Jewish Columbian from Bogota. He's the Bogota amateur champion and was gearing for a shot at Vik."
Greis's game began to unravel after she took a hard luck double bogey on the second. She slapped her approach to the second into a bunker before a full Chevalier lip, and faced one of the trickiest shots since Walter Hagen chipped with a swizzle stick. She exploded out right on line but the ball took a bad kick and rolled through the green.
As for Hagen, by the time the Open was held at Brae Burn, he had emerged from being golf's enfant terrible to Sir Walter, the liege lord of the game. Hagen was already displaying the waggish bravura that made him a gallery idol when he showed up for his first Open in 1913 at Brookline, the Crimson's home course. The Haig wore a garrish bandana tied cowboy style, a striped silk shirt, a plaid Scottish cap, and his wide laced brogans with the tongue moddishly doubled back over the instep.
At Brae Burn, Hagen had caught Mike Brady from behind and needed to sink an eight foot putt on the final green to win outright. Before he putted, however, Hagen demanded that Brady come out of the clubhouse before he administered the coup de grace.
As it turned out, Hagen just missed the putt but won the playoff the next day. On the 17th, Hagen faced an unplayable shot when his ball plugged in mud but he claimed it had been stepped on so he received a free drop on his way to a one stroke win.