Deng, Royston Propel Men's Golf to Third-Place Finish at Ivy League Championships

Deng, Royston Propel Men's Golf to Third-Place Finish at Ivy League Championships

Deng's third-place result helped the Crimson finish third in the team race for a second straight year (Gregory Carroccio).

BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The Harvard men's golf team improved over each round of play to finish third at the 2015 Ivy League Championships, held at the Saucon Valley Country Club.

Harvard finished the three-day event with a cumulative score of 900 (313-295-292). After sitting in sixth place following the first round, the Crimson improved to fourth place on day two and surpassed Columbia on day three. This marks the second straight year that Harvard has placed third at the championship event, matching the program's best finish since taking second in 1995.

Robert Deng (77-71-69-217) scored one-over par for third place in the individual competition, earning himself All-Ivy League first team honors. Gregory Royston (79-74-72-225) tied for seventh with Rohan Ramnath (79-76-74-229) coming in tied for 16th.

Rounding out Harvard's entrants were Kendrick Vinar (82-74-77-233) and Daniel De La Garza (78-80-77-235) who finished tied for 26th and tied for 31st, respectively.

Ivy League Player, Rookie and Coach of the Year awards, as well as the 2015 All-Ivy teams, will be announced on Tuesday.

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By Daniel De La Garza '17

With great confidence and optimism the Harvard Men's Golf team arrived in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania for the 2015 Ivy League Men's Golf Championship. The tournament was played at the Grace Course at Saucon Valley Country Club, which measured 7,051 yards with a 73.8 course rating and slope of 138. The team was excited to find the course in exceptional condition and was mentally prepared to face any challenges thrown at it during the week.

The conditions on Friday, the first day of competition, were cold and windy. However, it was not the weather but the extremely fast greens that made the Crimson struggle during the first round. Robert Deng '17 led the team with a 77 (+5), followed by Daniel De La Garza '17 with a 78 (+6). Rohan Ramnath '16 and Gregory Royston '18 came in with 79s (+7), while Kendrick Vinar '17 finished with an 82 (+10). The team finished the day with a total of 313, placing it in sixth place. While disappointed with the day's play, they knew that focusing on their own games would give them their best chance of catching the teams ahead of them.

The team awoke on Saturday ready to compete and implement some changes in strategy. After hitting balls on the range, it immediately became apparent that the weather would be warmer and slightly less windy. Deng continued his good ball striking and rode a hot putter to a 71 (-1). Royston posted a 74 (+2) that involved many good up-and-downs, while Vinar played consistently to finish with a 74(+2). Ramnath and De La Garza came in with scores of 76 and 80, respectively. The team improved overall and found itself 14 strokes behind (in fourth place) after the second day.

For the final round on Sunday, the Crimson was eager to get to the course to find its games and do its best to catch the leaders. Deng led the team for the third straight day with an impressive 69 (-3), followed by Royston with a great 72 (E). Ramnath posted a solid 74 (+2), while Vinar and De La Garza posted 77s (+5). Even though Harvard played its best round of the tournament, shooting 292 on the final day, the leading teams Penn and Princeton played solid rounds, shooting 287 and 292, respectively. The team gave its best effort throughout the whole week, but this time it was not enough: a final third place is not what we worked towards this year, but the sour taste in the team's mouths will only motivate it further for next year.

All of the team members would like to thank Fred Schernecker, The Paul M. Weissman '52 Director of Harvard Golf, coaches Kevin and Curtis Rhoads, captain Akash Mirchandani '15, former assistant coach Daniel Joseph, and all of the parents, grandparents and friends who joined us and supported us during competition this weekend. We would like to give special thanks to Mr. Paul Weissman and his lovely wife Harriet for their warm and sincere support to all of the team. We also would like to congratulate the Harvard women's golf team on its fourth consecutive Ivy Championship! Lastly, we would like to congratulate the University of Pennsylvania men's golf team and coaches Bob Heintz and Gary Gordon for winning the 2015 Ivy Championship.