Nelsen carded a 73 on day one of the Stanford Intercollegiate (Bruce Waterfield).
By Brenna Nelsen '15
PALO ALTO, Calif. - The Harvard women's golf team traveled to Palo Alto, California to compete in the 2014 Stanford Intercollegiate, hosted by Dr. Condoleezza Rice. The tournament promised to be an incredible opportunity for the Crimson to test itself against the nation's best. The 17-team field featured five schools ranked in the top-10 in the country. In addition, as several team members hail from California, Harvard was welcomed by many families and friends who followed the Crimson for the 54-hole tournament. The strong competition and legions of Harvard fans made for an exciting weekend.
The Stanford Golf Course—with its tight fairways and subtle, sloping greens—would be a good test for the Crimson. Harvard teed off on the first day under the beautiful blue California skies and with ideal weather forecasted for the duration of the tournament. The Crimson was paced in round one by sophomore Anne Cheng's even-par 71. Ever her steady self, Cheng was solid from tee to green and sank several long birdie putts. Senior Brenna Nelsen followed suit with a 73 in a round highlighted by four birdies. Classmate Tiffany Lim shot a 78, as did junior Christine Lin, who bounced back from a rough start with a one-over-par back nine. Junior Courtney Hooton rounded out the scoring with a 79. After day one, Harvard sat in 16th place, while No. 10 UCLA led the field with a five-under-par 279.
On day two, Harvard was once again paced by the strong play of Cheng, whose 73 was characterized by great drives and steady iron play, leading to several tap-in birdies. Lin improved to a 75 on the heels of solid putting and driving. Nelsen shot a 76, while Hooton carded a 77 highlighted by strong putting. Lim shot an 82, maintaining her characteristically strong focus and composure throughout the round.
The Crimson finished off with its best score of the tournament in the third round, carding a 294. Cheng continued her steady ways, carding a two-over 73. Lin matched her teammate's low score with several clutch par saves and three birdies on her card. Nelsen and Hooton both carded 74, thanks to strong short games and putting. Lim shot 82, grinding hard and making several key up-and-downs. Harvard moved up one spot on the leaderboard with its strong final-round score, finishing 15th against the tough competition.
Harvard was lucky to have the opportunity to compete at one of the nation's best tournaments. Though the Crimson did not place high up the leaderboard, it nonetheless saw the fruits of its labors over the past six weeks. Most of the team members spent their summers working, traveling, and studying, meaning less practice and almost no competitive tournament experience. The Crimson has steadily progressed over its fall season thanks to the team's hard work and focus. Harvard will look to build on this momentum as it moves into its offseason.
The Harvard women's golf team would like to thank all the Friends and family members for their continued support, both on and off the course! A special thanks to the many parents who traveled to Stanford to cheer us on. Go Crimson!