-By Jane Lee '12
The Harvard women's golf team finished the fall portion of their season at the inaugural Harvard Invitational played at The International in Bolton, Massachusetts. This event brought together all Ivy League women's golf teams for two days of competition on The International's beautiful Oaks Course. Because it was the first tournament hosted by Harvard, this weekend was particularly meaningful to the team and to the Harvard Golf Program. Thanks to all the spectators, hard-working volunteers, and amazing staff at The International for making this tournament such a success. And thanks also to captain emeritus Claire Sheldon '10 and Sarah Harvey '10 for making the trip to cheer their teammates on!
Friday's gloomy weather cleared up wonderfully for the first day of play, although the cold temperatures and gusty winds proved challenging for all players in the field. Despite these factors and the tricky layout of the course, Harvard turned in a solid first round score of 303. Leading the Crimson were senior captain Mia Kabasakalis and freshman Bonnie Hu with a pair of 75s. Close behind were freshman Fritzi Reuter and junior Katie Sylvan with 76 and 77, respectively. After a day of impressive play, Harvard sat in the lead, three strokes ahead of Yale.
Part of the goal of this tournament was to provide Ivy League players with the chance to get to know one another and as a result foster stronger relationships within the League. In the spirit of this objective, the team, with the aid of former teammate Sarah Harvey, hosted an ice cream social and towel-decorating contest after dinner. The social was a fun, relaxing addition to the schedule of events, and the presentation of each team's towel elicited a lot of laughter from the crowd. After the social, the Harvard women drove back to campus, ready to get some rest in preparation for the second day of play.
Sunday's weather was much milder and the wind not as strong. With only a three-stroke lead, the Crimson knew they had to turn in another strong score in order to retain their advantage. Sadly, it was not to be, although the team came very close to victory. Bonnie Hu led the Crimson with a stellar one-over-par score of 73, which put her in second place for individual standings. After an uncharacteristic first round score of 84, junior Christine Cho returned in fine form with a second round 76. Captain Mia Kabasakalis turned in a 79, Fritzi Reuter an 80, and Katie Sylvan rounded out the group with an 81. Although the first round score was excellent and the second round score was not so high to close off all chance of winning, Yale finished exceptionally strong with three 79s and a spectacular 66 by freshman Seo Hee Moon, for a two-day total of 609 to H! arvard's 611.
Despite the disappointing loss, the team is, as Coach Kevin Rhoads has said, trending in the right direction. The level of play that the team members are exhibiting now is much sharper than it was at the beginning of the season. There is so much potential in the team, and they look forward to capitalizing on this potential when the spring arrives.
Meanwhile, the Crimson will work hard to improve their games through indoor practice and conditioning during the winter. The uncharacteristically winless fall season will only add fuel and determination as the team looks forward to the spring and the Ivy Championships.
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Fin Team Scores
2 Harvard University 303 308 611 +35
3 Pennsylvania, Univ 323 302 625 +49
4 Princeton University 320 308 628 +52
5 Brown University 331 321 652 +76
6 Dartmouth College 340 314 654 +78
7 Columbia University 328 327 655 +79
2 Bonnie Hu Harvard 75 73 148 +4
9 Mia Kabasakalis Harvard 75 79 154 +10
T 10 Friederike Reuter Harvard 76 80 156 +
T 13 Katie Sylvan Harvard 77 81 158 +14
T 19 Christine Cho Harvard 84 76 160 +16