By Captain Danny Mayer ‘10
From Bethpage to Yale to the Philadelphia Cricket Club to the Bay Club, the Harvard Men's Golf Team fought hard and well wherever they went. This fall season featured some of the stiffest competition the Crimson has faced in years. Looking back the men of Harvard were, for the most part, pleased with their performance, but still know they have much to improve upon by the time the spring season and the Ivy League Championship roll around. The tournament average of 290 per tournament round in the fall was noticeably below last year's scoring average of 301. The Crimson's strong performance in the fall was anchored in the consistently solid play of Greg Shuman '10, Tony Grillo '12, and Mark Pollak '12 - all of whom averaged around 72. Thanks to the core that they provided for the team, the Crimson were able to remain in contention week in and week out.
Included in this significant improvement in scoring average was a record-breaking performance at the McLaughlin tournament at Bethpage's Red Course, which entailed an even-par first round of 280 and Harvard records for low 18 hole, 36 hole, and 54 hole totals. The Crimson ended up finishing T-5 at the event, behind top-50th ranked Coastal Carolina and UNC Wilmington, among others. However, the story of the week was Greg Shuman's individual victory after posting rounds of 69-68-71 (-2). In arguably the most competitive field we will face, the win was unbelievably satisfying for Shuman who has been so close to winning on countless occasions. Hats off to Greg!
After a two-week respite, the team teed it up at the MacDonald Cup at Yale. Despite having won the last two Yale-hosted tournaments in as many opportunities, it was just not in the cards for the Crimson, ultimately finishing T-6 - still a respectable finish, but somewhat frustrating considering Yale took home the title. Nonetheless, the boys considered the loss to their arch-nemesis fuel for the fire heading into winter preparation for the spring season.
The following weekend saw the Crimson travel to Philadelphia for the wonderfully run Big 5 Invitational, where, like the week before, they posted a 6th place finish. Mark Pollak earned himself a top-10 finish among an eclectic mix of talented teams, ranging from North Carolina's Campbell University to Iowa St. to the University of West Florida.
The final stop for the team's fall season brought them to their home state's own Bay Club in Mattapoisett, MA for the inaugural Ivy League Match Play Championship. After the Crimson handily defeated Dartmouth in the first round, they narrowly lost to Penn in the semifinals. After a cancellation of the final day due to inclement weather, Harvard ended the tournament with a T-3 finish.
All in the all, the fall season marked an excellent beginning to a very promising year for Harvard Men's Golf. With consistently low scoring and some decent finishes, the team got off on the right foot. However, with their eyes fixed clearly ahead, the team looks forward to the spring season - not just to competing, but more importantly, to achieving excellence by hoisting up some hardware! The Crimson are confident that the talent on the team, coupled with strong work ethic especially during the winter months, will translate into great success come the spring season.
Thank you for your support!