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Season Recap: Men's Golf Continues Ascent

By Outgoing Captain Danny Mayer ‘10

After coming off a solid fall, the men’s team looked to translate all their hard work in the off-season into a successful spring. More than anything, the team was eager to capitalize on all of the time spent in the simulator, at McGolf driving range, in the workout room, and over spring break in Orlando, Fla. 

Capitalize they did. In the first three tournaments of the spring, the Crimson did not finish outside the top three. They even notched a first place tie finish at the Princeton Invitational (despite losing the overall title in a card-comparison playoff). The team went into the Ivy League Championship as confident as ever. Thanks to the stellar and consistent play of the Crimson’s core three – Tony Grillo ’12, Mark Pollak ’12, and Greg Shuman ’10 – as well as the valuable contributions of captain Danny Mayer ’10 and Louis Amira ’11, the Crimson was poised to take down a championship title that had eluded it for thirty some-odd years. Unfortunately, the title eluded Harvard once more. Despite a first round, five shot lead at golf’s hallowed Baltusrol Golf Course, the men’s team struggled to maintain the lead over the final two rounds. Still, two members of the squad earned individual accolades – both Tony and Mark were recognized for their play with All-Ivy League second team status.

Without a doubt, the 2009-2010 season can be chalked up as a success for the men of Harvard. The team posted some good finishes throughout the year, and even broke several school records in the process, a testament not only to the talent and diligence of the team, but also to the excellent, process-oriented coaching style of head coach Jim Burke. In specific, the Crimson’s scoring average of 294.07 was more than seven shots lower than any previous year’s average. The team also set a record for finish percentage (at 76.6 percent), as well as records for the low 18-hole total, low 36-hole total, and low 54-hole total. Greg’s individual win at The McLaughlin represented an unprecedented win at one of the most competitive tournaments in the North.  

But records and finishes are just a manifestation of what each and every member of the team brings to the table, and to say that the team was simply comprised of good, hard-working golfers would be a drastic understatement. From my perspective, this year’s team was more motivated and driven than any in recent memory. The time and energy put into the program – both on and off the course – by every person on the squad was unparalleled, and it definitively showed in the results of our performances. The team is maturing, becoming accustomed to sustained success, and there’s no doubt in my mind that all the right pieces are in place for an Ivy League championship in the near future.

This effort will be undertaken without the involvement of the graduating seniors – Nick Moseley, Greg, Peter Singh, and myself.  In spite of the graduation of more than a third of the team, I am confident that the team will thrive under the leadership of new captain Tony Grillo ’12.  With the help of the incoming freshman – Theo Lederhausen ’14 and Seiji Liu ’14 – the team will continue to have great success and accomplish extraordinary things!

Thanks to Fred Schernecker, without whom this program would not run so smoothly, and thanks to the Friends of Harvard Golf whose unwavering support allows us to constantly improve and work towards our goal of becoming the best program in the Northeast Region. But finally, a special thanks to coach Burke and the guys on the team who have made my (and I’m sure) each other’s experiences at Harvard all the richer.