Though the Harvard men’s golf team entered yesterday’s second round of the Yale Spring Opener riding atop the leaderboard with a two-stroke lead, the Crimson’s Day 2 team score of 312 left the team with a frustrating sixth-place finish for the weekend.
After Day 1, sophomore Michael Shore led all scorers with a two-under par 68, thanks to two front-nine birdies.
Though Shore was the only player in the field to break 70, freshmen Danny Mayer and Greg Shuman carded 72 and 73, respectively, to finish in the top 10 in the individual standings.
Freshman Peter Singh and Senior Tom Hegge shot 81 and 83, respectively, as the team combined to score ten birdies in Round 1.
On Day 2, the golf gods retracted any favors they extended to the Crimson on the previous day.
In slightly colder and windier conditions, Shore fired a 79 after failing to recover from several early bogeys. Shore went on to finish in seventh place along with Mayer, who managed a second-round 75 to card a two-day 147.
Though trailing by three strokes after the first day, Hartford rode a Day 2 team score of 297 to victory.
Given that average scores did not vary wildly between Rounds 1 and 2, Harvard was left wondering what led to the lower scores on Day 2.
But the Crimson seems unable to point to specific areas of the game in need of improvement.
“It felt like we hit the ball well, but we just didn’t score in terms of putting,” Shuman said.
But it’s more likely that little mistakes piled up on the Crimson throughout the day. The Yale University Golf Course, known for its severely undulating greens, mentally taxes players with the constant demand for precision drives and iron shots.
“This course is really about staying focused and grinding it out,” Shore said. “The way to score well is to focus and accept that you’re going to make a couple of bogeys.”
Given that three out of the team’s five competitors this weekend were freshmen, the Crimson is eager to use its poor performance on Day 2 as learning experience to ensure that this young squad brings a more focused and competitive team to the Ivy League Championship in two weeks time.
“The best thing I can pick out of this [learning experience] is just that the second day is long and different,” Shore said. “What you do the first day really does not affect what you do the second day.”
Harvard will tee off again next weekend at the New England Division I Championships in Providence, R.I.
—Staff writer Robert T. Hamlin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.