Apr 22, 2012
Mark Pollak finished tied for fourth at the tournament (Harvard Athletic Communications).
By Akash Mirchandani '15
On Friday April 20th, the Harvard Crimson arrived at Century Country Club looking to defend their title at The Century Intercollegiate. Century Country Club was sure to provide a great test, a par-71 layout measuring 6925 yards, with tree-lined fairways and numerous bunkers spread around the course. With last year's good memories in their minds, the Crimson mapped out strategies for every hole during their practice round.
Working up quite an appetite from the practice round, the Crimson freshened up for the evening's program and dinner at the Club. The Crimson enjoyed a spectacular spread including hors d'oeuvres, salads, various main courses, and a team favorite, a dessert buffet and sundae bar. After eating, the team listened to the head professional, Nelson Long, speak about the course's long history. Also, Michael Breed, a golf professional and television instructor, took the role of the keynote speaker and revealed his thoughts on taking advantage of opportunities and maintaining a positive attitude. His speech provided a fitting preamble to the thirty-six holes of tournament golf to come.
The Crimson woke up Saturday morning with a bright attitude for the day and were eager to take advantage of the beautiful, sunny weather. The team's seniors set the tone well, as Captain Tony Grillo '12 led the team with a solid 72 and Mark Pollak '12 shot 73 in spite of an unfortunate double on 18. The rest of the team struggled with the 20 mph winds, as Akash Mirchandani '15 shot 79, while Seiji Liu '14, Theo Lederhausen '14, and Michael Lai '14, playing as an individual, all shot 81s. The team total for the day was 305, leaving Harvard in fourth place.
After the round, many of the team members practiced until dark, improving on their weaknesses from the day's round. This practice session was aimed at preparing the Crimson for a successful final day, which was forecast as difficult and rainy.
On Sunday morning, the Crimson quickly grabbed breakfast and ventured down to the course. The tee times were moved up significantly in an effort to avoid the worst of the day's weather. Upon arriving at the course, the Crimson donned their full rain suits and warmed up in the chilly, windy drizzle. Yet, the worst of the weather was still to come.
Leading the way in the morning, Seiji Liu '14 and Theo Lederhausen '14 survived the brutal conditions with strong rounds of 76 and 74, respectively. Mark Pollak '12 and Tony Grillo '12 came in with 75 and 76. Akash Mirchandani '15 and individual Michael Lai '14 struggled on their finishing holes with freezing hands and wet grips, but still managed respectable scores of 77 and 75, respectively. The Crimson were satisfied with the way they persevered through the terrible weather with a round total of 301, besting their previous day's total by 4. In fact, the Crimson shot the low team round for the day.
The Crimson finished in second place overall – 6 strokes behind Rhode Island – and first among the Ivy League teams in the field. The Crimson are hoping this tournament and final round give them momentum leading into the Ivy League Championship to be played April 27-29 at Galloway National Golf Club.
The Crimson would like to thank Yale's Coach Colin Sheehan for organizing and hosting this weekend's tournament. The team would also like to express their gratitude to Nelson Long, the membership at Century, and all of the club's staff for their generosity in creating such a great event.