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The Harvard golf team swung its way to a narrow victory Saturday against Providence and Dartmouth at Wollaston, Mass.
At one point during the match, Providence led by ten strokes, but the Crimson linksters completed the day with a total of 427, topping the 429 turned in by the Friars. Dartmouth trailed the field with 431.
"It was about as high scoring an event as you'll see," Harvard Coach Bob Donavan said last night. "The course is a real monster, and the wind also had an effect."
Not only were team scores high, but the individual scoring was topsy-turvy. Harvard's number one and two men, Alex Vik and Spence Fitzgibbons, shot "embarrassingly high rounds that we just threw out," Donavan said.
Yet freshman Jim Dalos, the number four man, carded a 79 to walk away with medalist honors and the only score below 80. The sixth and seventh golfers for Harvard, Jon Chase and George Arnold, each brought home steady 85s.
The match came down to Arnold playing the 18th hole after the sun had set. Arnold's ball refused to stop on the green as he pitched it from front to back. He finally holed a putt for a triple-bogey seven that clinched the victory.
Donavan said that Dartmouth's coach, after seeing no scores lower than 38 for the front nine, had predicted the match would be won by the fifth, sixth and seventh men.
"He realized that the higher handicap golfers would look at their scores after nine holes, see that they were six or seven over par and know that they've been there before," Donavan said.
"A better player would lookat that kind of score and go into a comatose state and try to make up all those strokes, something you just can't do on that course," he said.
The Wollaston layout was designed by famed golf architect George Fazio and boasts a 73.5 rating, the highest in Massachusetts. Water threatens only eleven holes, many of which sport sharp doglegs and prominent woods.
"Some of the holes are absurdly difficult. One bad shot and you wind up with a triple-bogey," Donavan said.
The Crimson closed the regular season with a 10-2 record on the strength of this win over two tough opponents. The Greater Boston Championships will be at stake on Tuesday, and the NCAA New England Division I finals on Thursday and Friday.
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