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Men's Golf 12th at Philadelphia Big 5 Invitational

By Mark Pollak '12

This weekend the Harvard Men's Golf team traveled south to compete in the Philadelphia Big 5 Invitational. The tournament featured many top schools from the east coast and pitted Harvard against six of its Ivy League rivals.  The competition was held at the historic Plymouth Country Club in the northwest suburbs of Philadelphia. 

Designed in 1912 by William S. Flynn, the course provides a formidable challenge to golfers looking to take advantage of its relatively short yardage. At 6600 yards, the par 70 layout appears inviting on the scorecard, but is protected by numerous doglegs, tree lined fairways and small, undulating greens. The tricky layout forces players to be constantly on their toes and penalizes those who get too greedy. With this in mind, the Crimson drafted a game plan and hoped to intelligently attack the golf course over the weekend.

Saturday morning the men woke up to ideal golf conditions. A strong high-pressure system perched itself over the area and produced record high temperatures across the northeast. The unusual weather system treated tournament participants to a summery, 80-degree day. The Crimson marched on to the course hoping to take advantage of these conditions and get off to a strong start for the weekend. Coming off of consecutive tournaments in which he had a hole-in-one, senior captain Antonio Grillo '12 led the team with a solid 71 to put himself in a tie for 7th place. Sophomores Seiji Liu '14 and Michael Lai '14 followed Grillo's strong play with 74 and 75, respectively. Senior Mark Pollak '12 was unable to recover from a bumpy start and finished with 78. Sophomore Theo Lederhausen '14 rounded out the Crimson with an 83. Harvard's team total of 298 placed them in a tie 7th behind Ivy League rivals Dartmouth and Penn. 

The fabulous weather of Saturday continued into Sunday, allowing for solid play to be rewarded with good scores. Tony Grillo was able to fight off a rough start but unable to keep his hole-in-one streak going and finished his second round with a 77. His solid play for the tournament earned him 25th place overall. Mark Pollak recovered nicely from his first round woes with a 72.  Seiji Liu and Theodore Lederhausen contributed with 76 and 78, respectively. Michael Lai rounded out the Crimson with an 80. On a perfect day, Harvard's stumble on the course was reflected in their position on the leaderboard. The second round total of 303 contributed to a tournament total of 601 and dropped the Crimson to 12th place for the tournament. On a positive note, the Crimson edged out Yale, Cornell, Brown, and Princeton. However, they were unable to keep up with the strong play shown by Penn and, tournament champion, Dartmouth.

The Crimson will be traveling to Evanston, Illinois next weekend to finish out their fall season at Northwestern's Windon Classic.

Par:        70   70                    Daily Low Round            
Yardage: 6600 6600                  Daily Leader    Both

Fin Team                     Scores  
1 Dartmouth College         286 292    578   +18   
2 Campbell University      292 292    584   +24   
3 Furman University         299 287    586   +26
T 4 Pennsylvania, U. of     290 297    587   +27
T 4 St. John's Univ.            297 290    587   +27   
6 Binghamton Univ.          299 295    594   +34   
7 Francis Marion U.           302 293    595   +35
T 8 Seton Hall Univ.           304 292    596   +36
T 8 Temple University       294 302    596   +36  
10 U.S. Naval Academy     297 301    598   +38  
11 Villanova University     298 301    599   +39  
12
Harvard University       298 303    601   +41
T 13 Fordham University   310 292    602   +42
T 13 Princeton University  300 302    602   +42
T 15 Cornell University      300 304    604   +44
T 15 Yale University           300 304    604   +44  
17
Towson University        310 295    605   +45  
18
George Mason Univ.     304 304    608   +48  
19 Drexel University          315 309    624   +64  
20 La Salle University       314 320    634   +74  
21 Saint Joseph's Univ.     317 325    642   +82  
22 Brown University          326 322    648   +88 

 Fin Name                                 School      Scores  
T 25 
Tony Grillo                        Harvard    71   77    148    +8
T 38 
Mark Pollak                          Harvard    78   72    150   +10
T 38 
Seiji Liu                             Harvard    74   76    150   +10
T 66 
Michael Lai                       Harvard    75   80    155   +15
T 97 
Theodore Lederhausen Harvard     83   78    161   +21