This weekend Harvard Women's Golf competed in the Princeton Invitational at Princeton's Springdale Golf Club. The course features tricky holes while presenting scoring opportunities for players who are on top of their games. The weather was nice and the course was in great condition. Fairways were dry and greens were rolling smoothly.
On Saturday, the team played 36 holes with tee times beginning early in the morning. Winds were swirling, and the skies were cloudy. The Crimson got off to a strong start in Round 1, finishing the round with a team total of 291, 5 shots ahead of Princeton. The highlight of the morning was junior Tiffany Lim's 66. Despite hitting a few bad shots that didn't hurt her score in the morning, she also hit a bunch of really good shots and capitalized on her putting to make almost every putt within 15 feet. She ultimately finished with 8 birdies. Lim's 66 broke the record for lowest competitive round in the Harvard history and established the mark as the lowest competitive round reported by a female at Springdale. The rest of the team contributed solid scores. Sophomore Courtney Hooton '16 finished with a 74 once her putting kicked in after a rocky start, and sophomore Christine Lin '16 took some time to adjust to the greens but finished with a 78. Freshmen Anne Cheng '17 and Nina Fairbairn '17 debuted with solid scores of 75 and 76 respectively. Competing as an individual, senior Bonnie Hu '14 finished her morning round with a 76.
The team continued into their second round of the day immediately following the morning round. The team followed up their first round total with another 291, pulling a few more strokes ahead of Princeton. Lim continued her strong play from the morning round, doing a good job of controlling her missed shots and finishing with another subpar round of 71. Fairbairn and Cheng, giving freshmen everywhere a good name, posted twin 73's. Fairbairn's round was characterized by 40-foot birdies while Cheng's was highlighted by her 4 consecutive birdies. Close behind the freshmen, Lin demonstrated her crafty up-and-down skills by saving a score of 74. Hooton continued hitting greens and sinking putts to post a 75. Hu improved on her ball striking, hitting more fairways and greens, and in a show of consistency, finished her second round with another 76. The Crimson picked up two more shots and finished the day seven strokes ahead of host Princeton.
The third and final round began early Sunday morning. Lin, continuing to improve, led the Crimson with a 1-under 71 thanks to her accurate approach shots, fantastic ball striking, and clutch up-and-downs. Also continuing to improve, Cheng shot an even-par 72 and had an interesting round filled with greenside saves and many birdie opportunities. Lim hit good shots and made good putting strokes, but unfortunately, birdie putts were not dropping for her and she finished with a respectable 75. Hooton and Fairbairn both posted 83 because of uncharacteristically high scores on a few holes. In her final event at Princeton, Hu birdied her final hole to shoot a 77.
After the scores were tallied, Harvard Women's Golf came out on top with a team total of 883 over Princeton's 895. Putting the scores in historic perspective, the team set new records for their lowest 36-hole score and lowest 54-hole score – improving on both records by 3 strokes. The 54-hole score was 23 strokes lower than the team's prior best at Princeton.
Lim became a two-time Princeton Invitational individual champion, winning both her freshman and junior years. In addition to setting team historic low for a single round with her impressive 66, Lim's 36-hole and 54-hole scores set new records for the team.
This weekend was a great start to the fall season for Harvard Women's Golf. Team members know that the win and scoring marks were a direct result of their ability to focus on the right things during their rounds -- the controllable aspects of their games. The promising results and the team's successful focus on process over outcome are major confidence boosters going forward. The process focus is reinforced by the positive outcome. This first tournament will help the team better prepare for their next tournament at the Golfweek Challenge in Colorado.
Of course, none of this would be possible without the generous support of the Friends of Harvard Golf who provide us with the means to do what we love doing both on and off the golf course. Thank you.