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Sports

GOLF NOTES

Harvard nearly authors an Ivy League sweep

A weekend trip to Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield, N.J., proved to be quite fruitful for the Harvard golf teams, with the women capturing the Ivy League title for a record third straight season, earning a sweep with the individual winner, and the men producing the individual conference champion for the first time since 1998.

The 21-stroke team win sends the Harvard women to the NCAA regionals, which start May 8. The Crimson, who have won five of their seven tournaments this season, will compete in the Central Regional in Stillwater, Okla., where they will be seeded 20th out of 24 teams.

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Freshman Anne Cheng dominated the individual Ivy tournament, with scores of 70-72-75 to win by five shots over Kelly Shon of Princeton. Cheng was named Ivy League rookie of the year, and was also named first team all-Ivy. She was joined on the first team by Harvard junior Tiffany Lim, with senior Bonnie Hu and sophomore Christine Lin named to the second team.

Coming into the Ivy League tournament off two straight wins, the Harvard men came up short in their bid for three in a row, which also would have sent them to NCAA regional play. The Crimson finished in third, 14 strokes behind Columbia, and two back of Yale.

But senior captain Theo Lederhausen closed his college career in victory, shooting 72-72-71 to win the Ivy League individual competition. Lederhausen was tied with Brown’s Nelson Hargrove after 54 holes but won on the first playoff hole to claim the title.

Harvard had the conference rookie of the year on the men’s side, too. Freshman Robert Deng led the Crimson in scoring average (72.63), and tied for 13th at Baltusrol.

At the Atlantic Coast Conference men’s tournament in New London, N.C., Boston College junior John Jackopsic tied for 21st with rounds of 74-68-74 as the Eagles finished 12th in the team competition, which was won by Georgia Tech.

Damage control

Next week marks the 41st playing of the Players Championship, and a Golf Channel report on Wednesday detailed five greens at TPC Sawgrass still suffering from noticeable damage after the “misapplication of a product to help manage density and root development during the colder winter period.” The holes impacted are reportedly Nos. 4, 9, 11, 12, and 14. Not what PGA Tour officials are hoping for at their marquee event . . . This week is the last chance for someone to play their way into the Players field. The winner of the Wells Fargo Championship gets in if he’s not already exempt . . . Rory McIlroy has dropped to No. 11 in this week’s world rankings, the first time in three years he’s been outside the top 10.

In good company

In 2005, the last time the US Open was held at Pinehurst No. 2, more than 9,000 submitted entries, the first time that number had ever been eclipsed. This year, with a return to Pinehurst No. 2, the number of entries has topped 10,000 for the first time. Last Wednesday was the deadline, and when 14-year-old Travis Wells submitted his online application 26 seconds before the cutoff, he was the last to enter, No. 10,127. The US Golf Association received entries from all 50 states and 75 foreign countries; 51 players are currently exempt into the US Open, which will be June 12-15. The previous record for US Open entries was a year ago, when 9,860 tried to play their way into the field at Merion Golf Club.

Cronin triumph

Brian Higgins and Mark O’Sullivan used an eagle at the 15th hole to take the lead, then birdied No. 18 to claim a one-stroke victory Tuesday at the Cronin Memorial, annually held at the Country Club of Halifax. Higgins and O’Sullivan finished 36 holes of the better-ball event with a 137 total (70-67), one shot better than Andy Horvitz and Herbie Aikens (71-67). In the Lambert Division (for combined team handicap indexes of 8.1 and higher), the team of Carl Sylvester and Brian Mahone (73-76) made a par on the third playoff hole to beat the approaching darkness and John Buceri and Paul Leahy (75-74). A field of 88 two-man teams braved the chilly, windy conditions, more commonly known as Cronin weather . . . It took three extra holes, but Frank Dully and Steve Bramlett finally have their victory in the New England PGA Pro-Pro Match Play championship. The Kernwood Country Club professionals, who lost in the final two years ago, beat the Rhode Island duo of Robert Tramonti (Triggs Memorial) and Brian Owens (North Kingstown) on Wednesday at LeBaron Hills Country Club in Plainville. The championship match went 21 holes, with neither team leading by more than one. Dully and Bramlett squared the match with a birdie at No. 16, and never led until they won . . . Thomas Smith (Paradise Golf) and Shayne Sakson (Cohasset Country Club) teamed to shoot an even-par 70 at Beverly Golf & Tennis Club and win the NEPGA Spring Meeting pro-pro event.

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