The Crimson linksmen found their scores ballooning on the windswept Country Club in Brookline yesterday, as they dropped the first match of the season held on their tradition-drenched home course by shooting a team aggregate 410 to the University of Rhode Island's 395. Williams rounded out the field with a team total of 416.
Number one golfer Alex Vik managed to bore enough low trajectory shots through the wind to finish tied as co-medalist with URI's John Zimmerman at 75. No other Harvard player broke 80. Number two and three men Spence Fitzgibbons and Jim Dales piled up a pair of 86s as the gusts scattered their arching shots.
Dave Paxton and Peter Smith both shot character-building 82s while Ron Himmelman carded an 85. Playing at number seven, freshman Leslie Greis shot a 91 after firing a low-qualifying round of 77 on Wednesday. "She played well," said coach Bob Donovan of Greis, "but it's really almost unfair to play her in this wind. Those holes she can't normally reach in two she could barely reach in three."
An Exacting Taskmaster
The Country Club is a demanding task-master under normal conditions but the slick greems seem to more than pocket handkerchiefs when the wind is billowing. Although Vik and Paxton posted the Crimson's lowest scores, they hit only five greens in regulation. A fierce wind during the 1963 U.S. Open held at the Country Club exacted the highest winning total in 18 years--Julius Boros's nine-over-par 293.
With his short game clicking, Vik emerged relatively unscathed with his lone double bogey coming on the 175-yard par three 16th. He managed a par on the first hole without ever playing off of the fair-way, which is really a 455-yard strip of what was once a polo field adjacent to the Country Club's defunct race track.
The polo field and race track date from the days when The Country Club had no golf course but served as a haven for New England's wealthy families, "free from the annoyance of horse railroads."
The 505-yard 11th hole, in which a rocky gully traverses the fairway, was transformed into a miniature wind tunnel yesterday. Unable to keep from swaying at address, Vik took a swat at his ball while striding up to it. The result was a smoother hook that carried some 50 yards. After that, Vik hit his driver off the fairway followed by a 3-wood, but was still shy of the green.
"It was so windy it was like a guessing game the whole way around," said Vik to sum up the match.