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The Harvard men's golf team needs to listen to a bit more Madonna.
Despite a successful fall season, the Crimson--ranked fourth in District I [New England]--could not get "into the groove" in its home opener against Amherst and Tufts at the Concord Country Club.
Amherst fired a 397 to take the tri-meet for the second year in a row, topping the favored hosts by 7 shots. Traditionally hapless Tufts played true to form, finishing far behind the other two schools.
"I'd say we should have won by 10 strokes," Andy Chao said.
Concord, a tight, wooded course, was in terrific shape following the sunny weekend. But the Crimson's sporadic shot-making put them in a hole early.
"If you have a few bad holes on this course, things have a way of snowballing," team low-scorer Dave Miller said.
With only six of the usual seven golfers teeing off--freshman Lou Body, who is number one or two on the team, was absent--the Crimson were only able to drop a single low score. Although Dave Miller finished second with a 75, the wide range of Crimson scores allowed the steadier Amherst squad to prevail.
"They got the consistent scoring we were looking for," Miller said.
Mike Foster and Robert Kincaid both carded a 79, beating most of the Amherst team. Dennis Crowley notched an 83 while Ross Cockrell and Andy Chao struggled, such finishing with a disappointing 88.
"It's not asking much at all for one of us to shoot 80," Chao said. "Four guys played pretty well, and I feel bad about letting the team down."
"We expected to win today," Miller noted.
Harvard's main test will come against Yale, ranked third in District I. In last week's tri-meet with Princeton at Yale, the Crimson trailed both schools and the Elis took advantage of what Cockrell called "the most significant home course advantage I've ever seen."
Unmarked and in poor shape, yale's home course treated the visitors with utter disrespect, as did the Elis, refusing to provide yardage maps to either the Crimson or the Tigers. All three teams will face off again in the Ivy League Championships April 20-21 at the neutral Bethpage State Park course on Long Island.
"This meet was not that crucial in the long run," Miller said. "While we're not really pleased, we expect to win the Greater Boston's [April 16 at Concord], and have a good chance at the Ivies."
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