Despite a disappointing ninth place finish in the MacDonald Cup, the men’s golf team did have one thing to smile about — they beat Harvard.

“I could’ve shot lower,” Corey Lomas ’07 said. “But we beat Harvard, which was key.”

The Bulldogs came up short against teams they expected to handle on the Yale Golf Course, finishing 8th with a team score of 593. Among the Ivy League teams in attendace, the Elis fell to both UPenn, the overall winner, and Brown, but snuck past Dartmouth because of the disqualification of a Big Green golfer.

“In terms of the other teams, we didn’t fare as well as we could have, but some of the guys on our team played pretty well, so that’s encouraging,” captain Rick Reissman ’06 said.

The Bulldogs were led by Reissman and Taylor Hakes ’09, who tied for a 15th place finish by shooting a 146. The Elis finished with four in the top 50, including Joe Hernandez ’09, who finished 39th, and Mark Matza ’07, who came in 47th. Hakes’ performance is particularly heartening for the Bulldogs, who are optimistic about the role their rookies will play this year.

The two-day tournament left the Bulldogs searching for reasons for the loss. Lomas said that while the poor weather might have been a factor, a bigger problem was that the Elis’ home course was more navigable than it usually is. “Though the conditions were not great, the course was easier than normal, and that took away some of our home advantage,” Lomas said.

One thing the Bulldogs accomplished at the tournament was breaking 300, which was one of their goals.

“Hopefully we will be able to keep on breaking 300, and if we do that, things should be alright,” Mark Matza ’07 said.

The competition, while intense, was not as strong as what the Bulldogs will face when they head to the west coast this weekend. But Reissman said that the tough competition may help the Elis get on track.

“This tournament has some of top teams in the county, so we’re not expecting too much, but that might help,” Reissman said. “Hopefully we’ll play loose, since we don’t have much to lose. We’ll keep doing what we’ve been doing, just with different expectations.”