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Surprise Finish For W. Golf

By Eric F. Brown

Now the eggs are teaching the chickens.

The Harvard women's golf team continued to make history this weekend with a fifth-place finish at the season-opening Dartmouth Invitational. Sophomore Suzanne Ranere shot a consistent 83-84--167 to lead the Crimson in the 15-team tournament.

Why was this history? Because with the youthful women's golf program, just about anything is. A year ago, the Crimson didn't even have a full team. Now it's finishing fifth at tournaments.

"As a team," junior Megan Murray said, "it was the best we've played over the last couple of years."

The showing was particularly good considering the conditions that Harvard had to play in. The course was short and hilly with lots of tricky shots, whereas Harvard prefers its fairways long and straight.

"The back [nine] was especially hard," sophomore Christina Nielsen said. "It was really hilly, and you had to be really accurate."

Also, the weather was terrible, which shouldn't be a surprise considering that the invitational was in Dartmouth. The temperatures dipped into the 30s on Sunday morning, forcing the golfers to drive while wearing heavy jackets.

The chill didn't bother everyone, however. Nielsen improved her first-round score of 98 to a 90, citing her hardy upbringing as her secret.

"Actually being from Minnesota, the weather didn't faze me as much," she said.

Nevertheless, Harvard was not able to catch up to Hartford, the fourth-place finisher. The two squads were 4-5 going into the second day, but Hartford maintained a 15-stroke lead at the end of play. Princeton, Rutgers and Yale were the top three teams, respectively.

Still, finishing fifth was a positive sign, not a disappointment. The Crimson had only practiced as a team for a few days last week, making the showing all the more impressive.

"It's exciting to think that we did so well in the first tournament," Nielsen said.

Harvard's next tournament is this weekend at the Yale Invitational, which features a course that is even more hilly and even more tricky than Dartmouth's and is probably the toughest course that the Crimson will play this year.

If the results of the Dartmouth Invitational are worth anything, however, that probably doesn't faze Harvard a bit.

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