In the Ivy League Championships this weekend, the Harvard men’s golf team took on the six other conference contenders on the Saucon Valley Country Club in Bethlehem, Penn. While the Crimson was seeded second and slated to be a favorite in winning, the squad was unable to deliver this result and ended in third.
“Once we get to an event like this, we really just need to be focused on the things that we do when we train day-in and day-out,” Harvard coach Kevin Rhoads said. “Despite seeing what the division is between where other teams are and where we are, we just have to see if we are doing our job close to 100% of the time. That’s easy to say but very challenging to do.”
Individually, three of the five Crimson players playing in the tournament were able to notch ranks in the top 20. Junior Rohan Ramnath was able to come in 16th by shooting a total score of 229, or 13 over-par.
“In terms of work ethic, we definitely prepared to the best of our ability,” sophomore Robert Deng said. “Even though there is definitely room for improvement next year, everyone [this weekend] stayed strong and performed as well as they could and I’m very proud of everybody for doing so.”
Deng lead the team for the weekend, shooting the third lowest score on round three of 69 (-3). Deng’s second and third round performances were both under-par and propelled him into a third place finish behind University of Pennsylvania’s Austin Powell and Princeton’s Quinn Prchal. Prchal claimed the individual champion title with a score of six-under par.
In his debut Ivy League Championship, freshman Greg Royston managed to place in the top ten. Although his first round found him with a five-over par score, he shot an even-par in the second round to match three other people tied for seventh place. Over the course of the season Royston has ranked second in scoring average on the team.
The top two individual players helped claim UPenn and Princeton’s first and second place, respectively. The Quakers achieved a total score of 885 to beat out the Tigers by one shot. Harvard followed in third, only five shots short of matching UPenn’s total. Columbia was only two shots away from the Crimson with a score of 902, but the other three Ivy rivals fell behind the Lions by more than ten strokes.
Rounding out Harvard’s roster were sophomores Kendrick Vinar and Daniel De La Garza. Vinar ended the tournament tied for 26th while shooting 17 over, and De La Garza finished tied for 31st with a score of 235 for the Crimson.
After ending the first day in sixth place, Harvard succeeded in scoring low enough to out-play Yale and Dartmouth in the second and third rounds in order to end as third.
“We had a tough round scoring the first day, and had a lot of work to do in adjusting to the greens,” Rhoads said. “We kept getting better each day, and in the last two there were a bunch of best scores. I’m very proud of how we did not panic after the first day and just tried to stay the course. I wish we had a couple more days to show how strong our level is, but we ran out of holes to play by the end.”
UPenn and Princeton’s locations as the southern-most Ivy League schools allowed their golf courses to be opened the earliest. In contrast, the Crimson men’s golf team was only able to practice in its indoor training facility until the outdoor courses were opened in the past week after record snowfall in Boston this season.
“We didn’t do as well as we would have liked,” Deng said. “But, having said that, we do need to recognize the factors that were going against us. So, given that we tried our best and prepared ourselves to the best of our ability, there is really not much that we can be disappointed about.
It was a good tournament in that everything we could control, we did a good job with. I think the outcome was a little disappointing because we are at the top of the league for playing level.”
—Staff writer Emily T. Wang can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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