By Robert Deng '17
Harvard Men's Golf left for The Met Intercollegiate on Thursday April 2, after a diligent practice session at the McGolf driving range just outside of Boston. The Met Intercollegiate is one of two spring tournaments hosted by Yale—both of which bring together some of the best schools in the Northeast. This tournament is unique in its setup, as the tournament involves 36 holes in one day with 18 holes taking place at each of the two host courses. On Friday, Harvard played a practice round with Assistant Coach Curtis Rhoads at Old Oaks Country Club, which features slick and sloped greens, narrow fairways, and large, thick oak trees. They followed this with walking the course at Century Country Club. The Crimson took special care to absorb all applicable information, taking into consideration the windy forecast for Saturday. After a rainy but productive day on the courses, the men headed back to the hotel to rest up for the 36-hole marathon to come.
The moment the players left the hotel room, it became evident that the weather would be a huge factor. At 7 a.m., it was 40 degrees and wind blowing 20 mph. Though the tournament would feature tough scoring conditions, Harvard golf believes that perseverance coupled with commitment to controllable factors yields success. Equipped with layers of warm gear, the Crimson headed out, excited for the challenge ahead. By the time the players had arrived at the course, the wind had increased to 25-30 mph, with gusts up to 40 mph. The morning round took place at Century. Kendrick Vinar '17 rode a hot putter and came in with a strong 74, followed by Rohan Ramnath '16, who controlled the ball despite the wind, shooting a 78. Greg Royston '18 continued strong play from the week before, earning a 79. Captain Akash Mirchandani '15 fought hard in the tough conditions, ultimately posting an 82. The group was rounded out by Daniel De La Garza '17, who grinded through the tough conditions for an 83. Robert Deng '17 competed as an individual, posting a hard-earned 76.
After the round and a quick bite to eat, the Crimson headed to Old Oaks Country Club for the second round. Though at first the wind seemed to die down, the opposite became true. The wind would remain at high levels all day, but would prove to be even more menacing in the afternoon round. Old Oaks Country Club features quicker, smaller greens that are generally more sloped than Century's greens. That ultimately resulted in many challenges in the field, including several balls rolling off false fronts, settling 30 yards away from the pin. Despite the rough conditions, the Crimson remained committed to process-oriented targets, thereby removing the negative mental effects of bad breaks and tough conditions. Kendrick Vinar would close the second round off with a spectacular 76, earning him second place overall in the field of 54 competitors. Ramnath followed closely, striping the ball all day for an 82. Royston fought hard throughout the round, ultimately firing an 82 as well. Mirchandani kept a level head throughout the rough winds, matching Ramnath and Royston with another 82. Finally, De La Garza stayed strong, closing with an 83. Deng finished with a 78, earning him fourth place overall.
Due to a thoughtfully formulated game plan and strong mental preparation for the Saturday challenge, the team earned third place—two shots in front of rival Yale University. While celebrating the positive performance, the Crimson will evaluate any weaknesses and work hard to improve and prepare for the second half of the spring season. Harvard Golf would like to thank all coaches, families and Friends of Harvard Golf for your continued support. We would like to especially thank Mr. Paul Weissman '52, who braved the weather to personally come out and watch us compete. We would not be the program we are today without your generous aid, and we take pride in having such a supportive network of Friends.