M. Golf Stumbles
Faring poorly in both the New England Spring Championships on Thursday and Friday and the Army Invitational over the weekend, the Crimson finished in a heap of frustration.
At the New England Championships, held locally at the Sterling Country Club, captain Doug MacBean, sophomores Matt Dost, Kaj Vazales, Jack Lynch, and freshman Andrew Malcolm underperformed to a man.
MacBean, in the last tournament of his career, turned in an 85-78, salvaging a 163 after a rough first round. Vazales shot 77-80, adding strokes on the second day. Malcolm came in at 81-78, Lynch was 81-85, and Dost was 81-87. As a group, the golfers were mentally defeated on Friday, and this lack of mental toughness showed in the second day's scores.
"With some of the big names like URI and UConn there, we just got psyched out. There was no specific problem, concentration just flagged," Malcolm said.
Completely fed up and unwilling to wait for the final results, the Crimson left the tournament, only to drive to the West Point, N.Y. for another two rounds at Army.
"We don't even know the results, but we can infer that we were near the bottom of the 20-team field," Malcolm said.
In the first round of play, Harvard showed signs of life. The Crimson was ranked fifth out of twelve in the standings after the Saturday play.
In that round, Vazales shot 79, Erickson brought in an 83, Malcolm shot a weekend-low 74, sophomore Tim Deardourff, in for Macbean, turned in an 83, and Lynch shot an even 80.
"As we started our fourth consecutive round in four days, we were just exhausted. Sarcasm and frustration took over, and again we fell apart," Malcolm said.
The team slogged through the last round with Vazales at 81, Erickson at 79, Malcolm at 81, Deardourff at 79, and Lynch at 81. Again, the team purposely left the match before the final standings were posted.
This last round of desperation echoed a trying spring season. The Crimson played its best golf at the Yale match, which was the first of the four spring tournaments.
Three weeks ago, at the Ivy League championships, it began to flag, and none of the golfers qualified for the NCAA tournament. These last two matches, cramped into one four-day block, were the last in this saga of trial.
"The season did end on a bad note, but we are a very young team, and we're gaining experience. We're still looking forward to next year," Malcolm said.