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Nobody has to tell the Penn men's golf team that second place is the first loser. The Quakers are familiar with this phrase, as they finished in the second spot at two tournaments during the fall season. "It is important to get over the hump and finish with a win," Penn junior Mike Russell said. Russell, who tore ligaments in his thumb over winter break while skiing, is undergoing rehab in order to help his team earn its initial first-place finish of the year. The Quakers played much more consistently last fall than they did in the fall of 1999. The Red and Blue placed in the top six at all their fall competitions, highlighted by a second place finish at the Binghamton Invitational. Expectations for spring season are running high, as the Penn golfers are working extremely hard on their games -- and on their physiques. According to Russell, the team is working out with a physical trainer, who is targeting the teams' balance and flexibility. Stretching is now becoming a major part of the squad's workout. "The idea is to gain more flexibility to hit it more consistent and further," Russell said. The Quakers hope these workouts, combined with their hard work on their games in the off season, will supply the jolt they need to win this spring. Penn will start its spring campaign with a trip to Las Vegas, Palm Springs, Calif., and Los Angeles starting on Saturday. Following their arduous trip to paradise, the Quakers will head to East Carolina on April 6 and participate in the Princeton Invitational a week later. "The goal for this season is to win the Ivies and beat Princeton, and qualify for the NCAAs," Penn sophomore Chad Perman said. After two tune-up tourneys, the team will try to realize its goal by heading to Metedeconk National Golf Club on April 13 for the Ivy League Championships. The Quakers will finish off their season on April 28 when they head to the Penn State Invitational.

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