Golfers Stumble to 5th at Lehigh

Heavy rains at Saucon Valley Country Club make for difficult playing conditions

Yesterday, the Harvard men’s golf team concluded its fall season with a fifth-place finish at the Lehigh Invitational in Bethlehem, Pa.

After Round 1, the Crimson stood tied for fifth with Birmingham after shooting a score of 328, with none of the five players carding better than 80.

Sophomore Peter Singh led Harvard on Day 1 with a round of 80. Sophomores Greg Shuman and Nick Moseley each recorded opening-round scores of 82. Captain Michael Shore and freshman Louis Amira shot 84 and 85, respectively.

“The tournament did not go as hoped,” Shore said. “We saw some improvement on the second day, and it was pretty indicative of the fall season in that I feel that we underachieved.”

Thanks to Friday’s heavy rains at the Saucon Valley Country Club, the course played longer than its 7,126 yards. The wet course often prevented players from gaining extra distance on the bounce or finding a clean lie in the fairways and rough.

“Conditions were harder, but that’s not really an excuse,” Shore said. “I don’t care how tough the course is playing—we should have at least had a couple of guys up there who broke 80 when 10 people in the field were up there [with a score less than 80].”

Difficult hole locations, best embodied by the pin placement on the green of the par-five sixth hole, contributed to higher scores. The hole, positioned on a steep down slope on the green, prevented anyone putting from above the hole to stop the ball close to the cup.

“Some of these hole positions were borderline unfair,” Shuman said. “Anyone above the hole was looking at a six-foot comebacker up the hill [just to save a two-putt].”

According to Shuman, tournament officials moved the hole location before the women’s field began playing the hole.

Though Harvard managed to improve with a second-round 313 for a two-day team score of 641, Penn led the tournament from the outset.

After a firing a first-round score of 308, nine shots ahead of Siena, the Quakers then scored 307 to cruise to victory ahead of second-place Bucknell, which shot 620.

In the second round, Singh and Shore led all Crimson players with rounds of 76. Shuman finished close behind with a second-round score of 78, and Moseley and Amira managed 83 and 84, respectively.

Still, this marginal improvement is not satisfying for Harvard, which entered the season buoyed by a fourth-place finish at the Mid-Pines Intercollegiate.

“I feel like every weekend, it’s the same interview—we underachieve,” Shuman said. “We’re all frustrated and looking forward to the spring.”

As the Crimson wraps up a season that included its share of ups and downs, the squad plans to use the winter offseason to identify areas needing improvement.

“As a team, we need to take practice more seriously,” Shore said. “Once you get into the tournaments, it’s no time to be making poor decision, and that will cost us if we’re not focused.”

With those mental challenges in mind, Harvard looks forward to the winter as a chance to regroup and bring renewed focus to the spring season.

—Staff writer Robert T. Hamlin can be reached at rhamlin@fas.harvard.edu.

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