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Men's Golf Travels to Quechee Club Collegiate Challenge

Freshman Grant Fairbairn drives the ball down the fairway.
Freshman Grant Fairbairn drives the ball down the fairway. By Courtesy of the Ivy League
By Coulson Rich, Contributing Writer

After an underwhelming start to the season two weeks ago at the Doc Gimmler, the Harvard men’s golf team traveled to Quechee, VT., looking for an improved showing at the Quechee Club Collegiate Challenge.  After two rounds of play Saturday and Sunday, the Crimson came away with a fifth-place finish out of a field of 12 teams.

Bucknell emerged with the victory after a stellar second round of play, cementing a final tally of 583.  Fellow Ivy League schools Cornell and Princeton tied for second place, with Drexel besting Harvard by 10 strokes for fourth place.

After not being able to travel with the team in Harvard’s last tournament, sophomore Grant Fairbairn led the way for Harvard in his season debut. The California native shot a 70 on Saturday, good enough for two-under par and third place on the leaderboard. Sunday saw him turn in a solid 73, which slid him back three spots to end the tournament in sixth place in a field of 74 competitors.  He was also able to compile seven birdies over the two rounds, a number topped by only six other competitors.

Host school Dartmouth finished in the middle of the pack only one stroke behind Harvard, with 600 total to the Crimson’s 599. Another member of the Ancient Eight, Brown, came home with a disappointing finish after what looked to be a promising start.  When Saturday’s round ended, it found themselves locked in a three-way tie for second place with Princeton and Harvard. While the Tigers and the Crimson were able to stay near the top of the leaderboard after Sunday, the Bears tumbled down to 10th place after a poor second round.

Harvard’s level of play improved from the first to second round, with four out of  five players shooting a lower score on Sunday than Saturday. Sophomore Peter George was able to improve on a dismal 82 by four strokes in the second round, leaving him with a total of 160 and tied for 66th.  The sole freshman competing, Brian Istzwan, was not able to repeat his team-leading performance from the Doc Gimmler, and his total of 157 left him tied for 54th.

Comprising the remainder of the field was, in order of finish, Holy Cross, Hartford, Siena College, Fordham, and Bryant.

Along with Fairbairn, junior Rij Patel had a strong weekend.  His scores of 75 on Saturday and 73 on Sunday were good enough to place him in a tie for 12th with John Bowen of Holy Cross and Jeffrey Cunningham from Drexel. Captain Aurian Capart had a commonplace showing, leaving Vermont tied for 24th after a final tally of 151.

Also present at the tournament was Harvard’s Ollie Cordero, who competed as an individual and finished one stroke behind Capart.

The Crimson will compete next weekend at Yale in the MacDonald Cup, held Sept. 29-30.

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