It was like the Ivy League Championship all over again. Except it was no big surprise. The Greater Boston Championship is traditionally Middlesex County's gift to Crimson golfers' egos, and Bicentennial week at Concord is no time to break with tradition.
So, in typical fashion, Harvard won the 36-hole GBC with a 42-stroke margin, and swept the first three individual places. Freshman Alex Vik, wunderkind of the golf team, won his second championship in four days, with rounds of 69 and 73. This blistering 142, an even par total, gave him one of the lowest scores ever recorded in the history of the tournament.
Tom Yellin was bridesmaid again, with a 78 and a 71, a score that would have been good enough to win most years. Steve McConnell placed third with rounds of 79 and 75. He said, "I played much better on the back nines, and much better the second round. The course was playing easy."
"The overall tournament shows the difference between having an active golf program--with coaching, and money, and access to a course--and not having such a program. The tournament shows that we can get out and practice, and so we're, better. That's really all the tournament shows. We really are a lot better, than the other teams. We've won it for about the last ten years," McConnell said.
Running a Good Walk
In winning the GBC with a five-man total of 788, Harvard reasserted that it is easily the best golf team in the Boston area. B.C. finished second with 820, Tufts was next at 821, with B.U., Northeastern and MIT lagging far behind.
Coach Tim Taylor seemed satisfied but not thrilled with the Crimson's performance. "I think we're still riding," he said. "I think we're fortunate that Tom and Alex are shooting so well."
"I don't want to seem too negative, but it's going to be a different story on Thursday when we play Yale and Princeton. We know what to expect from them. I can tell you right now that their scores will be good. We need consistency. We need five scores around 78 to win and we didn't get that up at Concord."
Coach Taylor was especially pleased though with Vik's rounds. "I think he could be the best player in Harvard history, if he isn't already. He attacks par every time he goes out there. He's having a tremendous effect on everybody else on the team."
Vik's 69 is impressive, but most of the players agreed that the course played easy yesterday. Yellin said, "The conditions were nearly ideal. It was a little chilly in the morning, though." A little chilly is an understatement. The tournament had to be delayed 15 minutes while the players waited for the frost to melt off the greens.
Breaking the Ice
But as the weather warmed, so did the Crimson golfers, and the outcome of the tournament was inevitable. That might not be the case Thursday when the Big Three meet at the Country Club in Brookline.
Yellin says, "On Thursday we'll need more than one or two excellent scores. That match is really important--because of the traditional rivalries, and because if we win it will prove that we really deserve the Ivy League championship.
That they deserve the Greater Championship is not in doubt. But then, it never really was.
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