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Harvard Men's Golf Faces Tough Field at Northwestern

Seiji Liu and the Crimson competed at the Windon Memorial Classic Oct. 16-17 (Harvard Athletic Communications).

By Seiji Liu '14

This week, the Harvard Men's Golf Team traveled to Evanston Golf Club in Skokie, Illinois to participate in the Windon Memorial Classic hosted by Northwestern University. This was the final event of the fall season for the team and the 17-team field represented the best competition Harvard Golf has faced to date. It was a challenging and fun opportunity that allowed the Crimson to play outside the Northeast. Marquee names in the field included UCLA, Arkansas, Indiana, Purdue, Charlotte, and Northwestern among others.
 
Evanston Golf Club, founded in 1898, is a par 70 6793-yard layout designed by Donald Ross. The tricky layout was a paradise for shot makers, as precision was needed to navigate the tight landing areas peppered with unforgiving bunkers and fast undulating green complexes.
 
The team flew into Chicago Friday evening and was graciously hosted by the Lederhausen family for the night. The Crimson golfers were able to rest until mid morning before heading to Evanston Golf Club for their practice round. The team faced high gusts of wind throughout the round that foreshadowed the impending conditions for the weekend. A strategy was formed and the team felt prepared for what was sure to be an exciting round as they were paired with powerhouse teams UCLA, Arkansas, and Northwestern.
 
On Sunday morning, the field was greeted with pouring rain, mild wind, and temperatures in the low 50s.  With a 36-hole day ahead of them, the Crimson were hoping for better weather. Thankfully, the rain cleared away through 6 holes.   The Crimson had a tough first round posting a 294 that placed them in 15th out of 17. Mark Pollak '12 led the squad with a solid round of 72 that included 3 birdies. Pollak, a two time All-Ivy recipient, was part of an electrifying group that included world number one amateur Patrick Cantlay of UCLA, British Open Participant Eric Chun of Northwestern, and All-American Ethan Tracy of Arkansas. Theo Lederhausen '14 and Captain Tony Grillo '12 posted matching 73s. Seiji Liu '14 fired a 76 and Akash Mirchandani '15 rounded ou! t the scores with a 78.
 
Moving into the afternoon round, the Crimson golfers were motivated to move up the leaderboard after seeing their competitors' play. Strong afternoon winds changed the conditions, and the experience the Crimson gained from playing golf in the Northeast kicked in. The field was unable to finish the final 2 holes of the shotgun due to darkness. The next morning would consist of a 20-hole shotgun. The Crimson fired a strong 291 when the 2nd round scores were tallied to move up to 10th place. Lederhausen led the pack with a 71. Grillo continued his strong play with a 72. Pollak and Mirchandani came in with 74s; and Liu struggled with his putter and came in with a 77.
 
Monday morning yielded frigid temperatures in the low 40s and high gusts of wind added to the challenge, evidenced by an increase in the field scoring average by 2 full shots from the previous 2 rounds. The pin positions were tucked away in tight corners and protected with severe slopes to penalize those who were not cautious. Freshman Mirchandani played a fantastic round to shoot 69. Captain Grillo, a model of consistency, fired a 71 to finish T-24. Lederhausen shot a 75.  Liu and Pollak rounded out the scores with 76s. The Crimson finished with another 291 and finished in 11th place overall.   Given the strength of the field, it was a solid, respectable result.
 
The team has come away from this event with a better understanding of what needs improvement. It was a positive end to the fall season and the team is eagerly looking forward to the beginning of the spring season. The Crimson will work hard in the offseason, spending time in the gym and practicing indoors.
 
Par:        70   70   70               Daily Low Round             
Yardage: 6793 6793 6793             Daily Leader    Both

Fin Team                     Scores   
1 Arkansas, U. of               274 276 297    847    +7 
T 2 Indiana University      283 278 290    851   +11 
T 2 UCLA                              283 284 284    851   +11    
4 Purdue University          283 286 287    856   +16    
5 Northwestern                 274 285 298    857   +17    
6 Charlotte                         284 282 297    863   +23    
7 Eastern Michigan U.      275 295 295    865   +25    
8 Michigan, U. of               286 283 297    866   +26    
9 Pepperdine Univ.           292 285 290    867   +27   
10 Coastal Carolina          291 288 293    872   +32   
11 Harvard University      294 291 291    876   +36   
12 Marquette University  290 291 301    882   +42   
13 Marshall University      291 291 302    884   +44   
14 Idaho, Univ. of              289 297 302    888   +48   
15 Penn State U.                297 295 297    889   +49   
16 Loyola U.- Chicago       289 299 302    890   +50   
17 Florida Atlantic U.        296 297 300    893   +53 

Fin Name                  School      Scores   
T 24 Tony Grillo                          Harvard      73   72   71    216    +6
T 42 Theodore Lederhausen   Harvard      73   71   75    219    +9 
T 48 Akash Mirchandani           Harvard      78   74   69    221   +11 
T 52 Mark Pollak                        Harvard      72   74   76    222   +12 
T 79 Seiji Liu                               Harvard      76   77   76    229   +19