It may not have been the shot heard round the world, but the 20-foot putt that Merrimack College's Rich Moroda sank on the 18th green yesterday at the ECAC qualifying match in Stowe, Vt., certainly made a lasting impression on the Harvard Golf Team.
As Moroda's Titleist fell into the cup, most of Harvard's hopes for a berth in this month's ECAC championship fell with it. Only the top two squads from yesterday's 16-team match will qualify for the tournament, and Morada's putt put Merrimack in second, the Crimson in third.
"We all figured he'd lag his first putt," Crimson co-captain Jon Mosle said, speaking for the surprised crowd of onlookers. Moroda plays in the fifth slot for a team which has traditionally had little impact on intercollegiate golf.
Merrimack finished at 316, behind prematch favorite Salem State and ahead of Harvard and Bentley College, which tied at 317.
Despite the disappointing finish, Harvard won't have to mothball all its clubs until the vernal equinox brings golf out of hibernation, Co-captain Carroll Lowenstein and standout freshmen Chet Nastala both qualified for individual play in next week's championship.
Lowenstein "did a great job," said tournament director Edward P. Markey, after the veteran garnered medalist honors for his three-over-par 75. Nastala also made the top ten with a 77 card for the day, battling cold, rain and wind in his first major tournament for the Crimson.
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