So much for home-course advantage.
The Harvard women’s golf team hosted the first-ever Harvard Invitational tournament this weekend in Mashpee, Mass., braving weekend weather that alternated between biting cold and blustery winds—all on a course the team had never played.
But the Crimson escaped with a 339-345—684 score, a third-place finish in a field of eight, and had strong performances from captain Merry Chiampa and junior J.J. Kang.
Throughout the tournament, scores were unusually high.
Chiampa, whose opening-round 78 led the field on Saturday, said her round “actually felt more like a 72.”
“I thought I was playing really well,” she said. “It’s just a really tough course.”
The Crimson competed against top opponents like Yale, the eventual winner, and Georgetown, the runner-up, but the New Seabury/Dunes Course proved to be Harvard’s toughest adversary during the weekend.
Temperatures dropped into the low 40s on Saturday, forcing players to bundle up against the cold. Sunday was warmer, but the conditions weren’t any easier—winds whipped across the course, causing as much as a 30-yard difference on some drives, according to Kang.
“[The wind] is tough,” said Kang, who finished tied for 14th. “It takes the spin off the ball. [Putts] won’t hold onto the greens as well either.”
Sunday’s windy conditions were especially tough on Chiampa.
The Crimson captain followed her stellar performance on Saturday with an inconsistent Sunday, shooting an 89 to fall to sixth.
“I had a bunch of three-putts,” Chiampa said. “Sometimes, it’s just hard to find your tempo, your game, with the wind. It happens.”
Still, Chiampa remained upbeat about the team’s—and her own—performance despite the element, and even enjoyed the challenge.
“Everyone just had to grind it out,” she said. “I think it’s just a fun way to play golf.”