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Men's Golf Finishes 12th at Philadelphia Big 5

-by Theo Lederhausen '14

This week the Harvard Men's Golf team traveled to the outskirts of Philadelphia for the Big Five Invitational hosted by Temple University.  The event featured 21 schools and was the strongest field the team has faced this season. Plymouth Country Club in Plymouth Meeting, PA, designed by William S. Flynn, was the very generous host for the week.  This narrow, par 70 course played a long 6610 yards, showing its teeth with its four-inch long rough and small, perfect greens. The entire club was very receptive of the tournament and provided the field with great hospitality.

After arriving late Thursday evening, the team woke up on Friday and had a productive practice session at Temple University's private practice facility.  Shortly thereafter the team played a practice round at Plymouth C.C. in order to ensure good course management for the week on a tricky layout.  After a long practice round, the team went to the hotel to change into a coat and tie for a banquet dinner at the course, which was a great opportunity to meet and talk with other players.  The highlight of the dinner was an inspirational speech by Fran Dunphy, the head coach of Temple University's basketball team, ranked #12 nationally in 2009-10.

For the first day of competition the Crimson golfers were happy to have clear, blue skies and temperatures in the low 60s. The course proved to be tough, with greens running fast and winds sporadically blowing at 15 mph. The team posted a first round total of 299, which put them in 13th place.  Seiji Liu '14 led the squad with an impressive back nine comeback to shoot 72.  Theo Lederhausen '14 shot 74, and Captain Tony Grillo '12 drained a 15-footer on the last hole for a raucous crowd to shoot a 76.  Connor Wentzell '12 played solid with 77 and Mark Pollak '12 shot 78. The Crimson golfers were a bit disappointed with their first round score, but optimistic about the next day of play.  

Thank you to the Wentzell family for a delicious dinner shared with Dartmouth Coach and good friend Richie Parker.

The weather for the second day of competition was again spectacular, with a light breeze and temperatures in the low 60s. The Crimson golfers were not able to climb the leader board as much as they had hoped with a day two total of 298. This 36 hole score of 597 (+37) moved the Crimson into 12th place for the tournament. Liu continued his excellent play, carding a 1-under par 69 for the day. This placed him near the top of the leader board in 3rd place. Grillo played solid to finish with 74, while Lederhausen shot 76, and Pollak added with 79. Wentzell got off to a very slow start, but battled well to shoot 81.

Next weekend the team is headed to Rhode Island to compete in the Northeast Invitational, where all 8 Ivy League teams will be competing.  It will be a nice preview to the Ivy League Championship in the Spring. 

Par:        70   70                    Daily Low Round          
Yardage:  6610 6610                  Daily Leader     Both
Fin Team                     Scores   
1 Furman University        283  291    574   +14    
2 St. John's Univ.         292  290    582   +22 
T  3 Kentucky, U. of          293  290    583   +23 
T  3 Princeton University     289  294    583   +23 
T  5 Binghamton Univ.         297  290    587   +27 
T  5 Yale University          293  294    587   +27    
7 Seton Hall Univ.         297  291    588   +28    
8 Villanova University     291  300    591   +31 
T  9 Pennsylvania, U. of      301  292    593   +33 
T  9 Rhode Island, U. of      294  299    593   +33   
11 Campbell University      291  303    594   +34 
T 12 Dartmouth College        296  301    597   +37 
T 12 Harvard University       299  298    597   +37   
14 Temple University        303  295    598   +38   
15 Fordham University       303  302    605   +45   
16 Brown University         310  306    616   +56   
17 Francis Marion U.        311  306    617   +57   
18 Cornell University       313  305    618   +58   
19 Drexel University        304  315    619   +59   
20 Saint Joseph's Univ.     310  313    623   +63   
21 La Salle University      320  308    628   +68

T  3  Seiji Liu             Harvard      72   69    141    +1
T 42  Theodore Lederhausen  Harvard      74   76    150   +10
T 42  Tony Grillo           Harvard      76   74    150   +10
T 80  Mark Pollak           Harvard      78   79    157   +17
T 87  Connor Wentzell       Harvard      77   81    158   +18