The weekend promised lots of action for Harvard’s golf teams, as the men traveled to Yale to participate in the MacDonald Cup and the women were set to compete in the ECAC Division I Championships in Williamsburg, Va. However, heavy rains rolled through Williamsburg on Friday and Saturday, soaking the course and forcing officials to cancel the women’s tournament early Saturday evening.
The team arrived on Friday hoping to play a practice round before beginning tournament play on Saturday, yet was not even allowed to walk the course. Downpours continued steadily on Saturday, canceling play and leaving the course too soggy for an abbreviated tournament on Sunday.
“Saturday afternoon the officials called the tournament, explaining that there was just too much water on the course and that the conditions were unplayable,” junior Jessica Hazlett wrote in an email.
The outcome came as a bit of a disappointment for the Crimson, as the team was looking to avenge a close second-place finish to Princeton at last weekend’s Yale Invitational.
“There was nothing we could do to affect the weather though, so the plan now is to focus on the next few weeks of practice in preparation for our next tournament in North Carolina,” Hazlett said.
The Crimson will square off against Princeton and other top teams in three weeks at the Rollins Invitational in Southern Pines, N.C.
The Crimson men’s team, too, faced weather conditions that were less than ideal for golf. Strong winds on Saturday made the greens fast on the course at Yale, forcing the Crimson to be extremely careful about ball placement and to take a less aggressive approach to putting. Sophomore Mike Shore was able to make the necessary adjustments, though, as he fired a 2-over-par 72 to tie for the top individual score after the first round. Freshman Greg Shuman was close behind, shooting a 75 to help card a team score of 307 and put the Crimson in second place with two rounds left to play.
Captain Tom Hegge shot a 79 in the first round, yet credited his teammates when asked about the strong opening round.
“The consistency shown by Greg Shuman and Mike Shore really set the tone for what could have been a good showing,” Hegge wrote in an email.
The Crimson slipped a bit in the second round, posting a team score of 312, before improving with a 307 in the final round. The finish was good enough for ninth place in the field of 18 squads, just three strokes behind seventh-place finishers Birmingham-Southern and Yale.
Shuman was indeed a model of consistency for the Crimson, posting a 75-74-75 for the three rounds of play at the MacDonald Cup. He finished in ninth place in the individual bracket, with Shore close behind in eleventh. The sophomore linked the slip in the standings to a few missed puts in the second and third rounds, as he posted a 78 and 76, respectively.
Sophomore John Christensen shot a 243 to finish at No. 55, while Danny Mayer finished the tournament at No. 66 and Peter Singh and Hegge tied for No. 73 overall.
The Crimson will look to move up in the standings in its remaining two tournaments: the ECAC Division I Championships in Charlestown, R.I. next weekend and the NEIGA Championships in Brewster, Mass. the following weekend.
Continued Hegge, “It’s just going to take some extra focus on not throwing away shots around the greens, because, as we saw this week, ten shots can be the difference between ninth and third. Over 54 holes, that’s just a putt here or there per player.”