High School Rivals Team Up for Women's Golf
It’s not often that your rival one year becomes your teammate the next.
But that’s exactly what happened with Michelle Xie and Anna Zhou, the lone two freshmen on the Harvard women’s golf team. Both hail from Palo Alto, California, where Xie graduated from Palo Alto High and Zhou from Gunn High—two schools notorious in the San Francisco Bay area for their intense rivalry.
Perhaps it’s not surprising, then, that Xie and Zhou competed against each other quite often in high school at local and regional tournaments. Perhaps it’s a little more surprising, however, that the two, despite the competition and intense school rivalry, had already become close friends even before committing to play together for the Crimson.
“Anna and I have actually known each other well since she first moved to Palo Alto,” Xie said. “We’ve played many tournaments together, and she’s become a really good friend.”
Indeed, the connection between Xie and Zhou extends to even before high school; all the way back to elementary school, when Xie and Zhou used to practice at the same municipal golf course.
Over the next several years, their paths diverged: each found a different coach, a different style of play, and a different high school. But somehow this year they have converged, and once more they have found themselves practicing on the same golf course. This time, though, they are not rivals but teammates instead.
For both women, the experience has been a positive one.
“It’s really cool to be able to say that she’s my teammate,” Xie said. “Now I work with her, instead of competing against her…. [I] feel the team spirit so much more.”
Zhou echoed the sentiment.
“It’s nice to have Michelle on the team because there’s a sense of familiarity,” Zhou said. “When you’re first meeting the team, you don’t feel completely out of place. We can also relate to and rely on each other a lot especially since we’re both freshmen.”
Junior Anne Cheng, a mentor to the two women, recognizes the old competition between the newest members of the squad but emphasized their current status as teammates and friends.
“They might have been from rival high schools,” Cheng said. “And, because I think since golf is an individual sport, there’s always some sort of rivalry—but overall, they’re still teammates and good players.”
Cheng’s statement has a strong statistical backing—in high school, in fact, each ranked among the top 20 nationwide in their recruiting class. But college golf is a different world and something both players are still figuring out.
For Xie, the 16th-ranked golfer in the nation in the class of 2015, the most jarring transition between high school and college golf has been the step-up in academics at Harvard.
But Xie is no stranger to a high standard in the classroom. Last year, she was named a National Merit Finalist and attended Paly High, a school consistently ranked among the best public schools in California.
Read more in SportsMen's Water Polo Takes Third at CWPA Championships
Women's Golf Finishes Third at River Landing ClassicLooking to build on last weekend’s third place finish at the Rebel Intercollegiate, the Harvard women’s golf team took its talents to the River Landing Classic in Wallace, N.C. After playing 54 holes over a two-day stretch, the Crimson earned itself another third place finish as play wrapped up Sunday.
Women's Golf Ties for Ninth at NCAA RegionalsFor the fifth season in a row, the Harvard women’s golf team took the course in the NCAA regional round. This time around, the Crimson took a trip to The University Club in Baton Rouge, La. to join a field of 18 competitors. After three rounds of play, the women walked away in a tie for ninth.
Women's Golf Takes Third at Harvard Invitational in FloridaEntering its second tournament of the spring season, the Harvard women’s golf team traveled down to Osprey, Fla. to participate in the Ivy-heavy Harvard Invitational. Hosted by the team on the 72-par, three round Heron Course at the Oaks Club, the tournament took place over the course of Saturday and Sunday.
Women's Golf Earns Second Championship TitleThe only thing better than one champion is two, just ask the Harvard women’s golf team. In their second invitational of the spring season, the team picked up their second consecutive individual gold medal. Well actually, they picked up their second and third. Sophomores Anna Zhou and Michelle Xie tied each other for the Naval Academy’s Golf Invitational gold medal.
Golfers Battle Inclement Weather Throughout Spring Season