After two weeks spent working diligently on their golf games, the Crimson arrived at the Course at Yale eager for this year's installment of Yale's Spring Invitational. Measuring 6,775 yards to a par of 70, the Course at Yale features large and well-bunkered green complexes typical for MacDonald-designed courses as well as rolling fairways. The team was excited to be back on familiar property amidst stiff competition that included five teams ranked in the top 40 nationally.
Despite the record-breaking snow this winter, the team found the course in good shape for the tournament, except recently aerated greens. With the help of Coaches Kevin and Curtis Rhoads, the team devised a strategy on how to attack the golf course in its practice round on Friday. Paired with Clemson and the University of Connecticut on Saturday for 36 holes, the team performed well. In the morning round, the Crimson were led by Kendrick Vinar '17, who rode a hot putter en route to an even par 70. Greg Royston '18 struck the ball well to match Vinar with a 70. Daniel De La Garza '17 and Rohan Ramnath '16 both came in with solid rounds of 72. Akash Mirchandani '15 highlighted the round with an eagle on the par-5 16th and rounded out the scores with a 75. The afternoon round presented some more challenging conditions with gusty, swirling winds. Vinar posted a 73, which involved many great up-and-downs. Ramnath played consistently despite the conditions to shoot 74, and Royston battled to shoot 75. De La Garza and Mirchandani finished with 76 and 77, respectively.
After day one, the team stood in the middle of the pack in a tightly bunched leaderboard, except for Wake Forest which built a substantial lead after Saturday's play. In the final round, the course staff at Yale took advantage of the slower than usual greens to place the pins in especially challenging locations. Nevertheless, the Crimson played intelligently and picked up a few strokes on the rest of the field. Relying on pinpoint accuracy and ball striking, De La Garza finished with a 1-under par 69. Royston's round featured chip-ins on two consecutive holes, as he shot an even-par 70, while Vinar played consistently to finish with a 71. Ramnath and Mirchandani came in with scores of 75 and 76, respectively.
After the scores were totaled, the Crimson finished in 6th place - one shot behind rival Yale, but ahead of top teams, such as Virginia Tech and Michigan State. The team looks to build on this momentum and continue to progress, with the Ivy League Golf Championship next weekend held at Saucon Valley Country Club in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The team would like to thank the Friends of Harvard Golf for making our pursuit of excellence possible. We look forward to an exciting conference championship next weekend.