The Harvard women’s golf team braved temperatures in the mid-30s and strong winds to take first place at the Roar-ee Invitational in Mamroneck, N.Y. this weekend. The Crimson’s combined total of 641 (317-324) outpaced the rest of the field by eight strokes. All five Harvard golfers played well enough to finish in the top 15 overall.
“It was a really callenging two days for everyone who was there, not optimal conditions,” coach Kevin Rhoads said. “But given that it was probably the coldest we’ll play all year, we managed to do well.”
“Typically there are a few key holes, a few specific answers for why we did well,” Rhoads added. “This was just a better total effort, given the conditions—they’re out there for five-hour rounds for both days—the fact that they were able to stay pretty level and not get upset at conditions that were out of their control was what helped us win.”
The Crimson was led by freshman Sarah Harvey, who shot a 79 on both days for a combined score of 158, good enough for fourth overall individually.
“It was tough judging distances,” Harvey said. “You don’t hit the ball as far in cold. If you hit your driver high, it’s likely to get caught in the wind. On a couple of approach shots it was really difficult judging distances, some balls were flying over the greens when I thought they would go short.
“But the conditions affected everyone, so it really evened out the field,” she added. “It was just about who had the best mental game.”
Indeed, the conditions frustrated many golfers, including sophomore Jenny Brine who shot 85-89 for her two rounds.
“You just keep telling yourself you’re a good player,” Brine said. “You know that some days, it doesn’t go your way and other days it does.”
Among other Harvard golfers, freshman Claire Sheldon’s 162 (82-80) earned her a tie for sixth place, sophomore Emily Balmert’s 164 (85-79) was good enough for 10th place, junior Jessica Hazlett fell into a tie for 11th at 165 (79-86), while sophomore Ali Bode’s 166 (77-89) put her in 13th place.
Though it played a one-round invitational over spring break, this was Harvard’s first 36-hole tournament since the fall, and the Crimson welcomed the extra holes, quickly resuming its success from the fall (one win, two second-place finishes).
“Longer tournaments give better teams a chance to come to the top,” Rhoads said.
Harvard’s next outing comes this coming weekend, when it faces Brown and Dartmouth.
—Staff writer Jonathan B. Steinman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.