By Rohan Ramnath '16
WILMINGTON, N.C. - The Crimson opened its spring season at the Seahawk Intercollegiate hosted by UNC Wilmington this past weekend with a fifth-place finish out of 14 teams. The team was led by freshman Gregory Royston '18 who finished in the top 10. After practicing indoors for many of the weeks leading up to the event, the men were excited to travel south and compete against strong teams from around the country.
The team traveled to Raleigh Friday night and made the short drive to Wilmington looking forward to its practice round at the Country Club of Landfall Saturday afternoon. Many of the team members spent Saturday morning doing homework in preparation for the upcoming week. The practice round was a welcome reprieve from the cold weather of Cambridge, and the men enjoyed the opportunity to hit off grass and practice on smooth greens. The course, designed by Jack Nicklaus, proved to be a tough challenge; there were many narrow tee shots and the firmness and slope of the greens forced precision and tact with approaches. The Crimson focused on committing to their shots and planned its strategy for the competition rounds aided by coaches Kevin and Curtis Rhoads.
The first day of the tournament was successful for the Crimson as it finished the day four shots out of the lead held by Campbell and ahead of top team Georgia. The weather conditions that day reminded many of Cambridge; temperatures rarely climbed above 40 degrees and were often below 30 with wind chill. The Crimson was prepared with layers, hand warmers, and the determination to remain calm and focused throughout the day. The morning round featured the hot putter of Kendrick Vinar '17 who fired an impressive 3-under-par 69 despite a recent back injury. He was followed by Rohan Ramnath '16 and Akash Mirchandani '15 with rounds of 74 and 75, respectively. Royston shot a steady 76 and fellow freshman Hale Furey '18 finished with 80.
The Crimson continued on to its second round in warmer afternoon weather. Ramnath led the team with a 71 and Royston continued his impressive ball striking to shoot a 73. Furey rebounded in strong fashion with a 74 and Vinar followed with a 76. Mirchandani concluded the team's scores for the day with an 81. The men finished the day at 12-over-588 and looked forward to beginning the final round paired with the leaders.
The final round of the tournament brought a mixture of rain and gusting winds. The Crimson navigated its way patiently around the course despite the difficult conditions. Royston led the team with an excellent 73 to finish at 6-over-par 222 and finish in the top 10 individually. Mirchandani continued his precise shot making and followed with a steady 76. Furey posted an 80, rebounding with an even par back nine. Vinar and Ramnath concluded the tournament for the Crimson with rounds of 82 and 85, respectively.
The men departed for Boston in positive spirits and were encouraged by their games after a long departure from competition during the winter. The next event will be held in New York this coming weekend. The Crimson would like to thank the Friends of Harvard Golf for making this weekend of competition possible and the host team, UNCW, for its invitation and hospitality.