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Harvard golf Coach Jock Hopkins smiled all the way home.
No easy feat when that ride home is the long three hours plus it takes to travel back to Cambridge from Hanover, N.H., the site of this year's regional qualifying tournament for the ECAC championships.
But Hopkins had good reason to smile--it's been a long time since the Crimson qualified for the ECAC's, a feat it finally accomplished yesterday.
Led by junior Robert Kincaid, who shot an even-par 69, the lowest toal in the tournament, Harvard placed second in the 22-team tournament with a score of 298. The Crimson joined Dartmouth and Maine in securing berths in next weekend's ECAC championship in Shawnee, Penn.
Battling winds of up to 25 miles per hour and threatening skies, and playing without the aid of ailing Co-Captain Ross Cockrell, Harvard's five players all registered sub-80 scores on the Hanover Country Club course.
"If you can throw out a score in the 70's, you know you are doing well," said Co-Captain Andy Chao, referring to each team's high score, which is discarded in the final results.
Harvard did and it was.
In addition to Kincaid's 69, Dennis Crowley shot a 74, Mike Foster a 77 and Andy Chao and Dave Miller both checked in to the clubhouse with 78's. For a team that had struggled in its last match, placing 13th out of 25 in the Toski Tournament, it was encouraging to settle into a groove.
"For the first time this season we played some pretty standard golf," Kincaid said.
Only Dartmouth, which was playing on its home course, put together a more impressive quarter, shooting a 291.
"If we really wanted to be gung-ho golf pros, we wouldn't be at Harvard," Chao said. "We have to take it one stroke at a time."
NOTEBOOK: Normally, only the top two teams from the qualifying tournament are sent to the ECAC championships, but in the event one of those two teams is the home squad, the top three are sent, allowing Maine this year to qualify with a third-place score of 300...In a tuneup for the ECAC's, Harvard will travel to New Seabury on Cape Cod for the New England Intercollegiate Golf Association Championships Monday.
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