In the sport of golf, home field advantage goes a long way.
Just ask the Yale men’s team, which walked away with first place at this weekend’s Macdonald Cup on its home turf, The Course at Yale—a course designed by co-founder of the USGA Charles Blair Macdonald in 1926.
When’re you’re playing on a course that ranks 71st on Golf Magazine’s list of the 100 most difficult courses in the world, any practice helps.
For the Bulldogs, routine practice on the challenging course is the norm.
But for the less habituated Harvard, it felt like, well, one of the most difficult courses in the world.
“It is a very difficult course, very tricky,” sophomore Mark Pollak said.
“It’s a course you need to play multiple times before you have a handle on it. The greens are very big, undulated, very difficult to read. There are a lot of blind shots.”
But for the Harvard golfers, the rainy weather actually helped to keep scores lower. The greens at The Course are traditionally firm, but the rain softened things out, making for an easier hold.
“Our scores would have won any other time at Yale,” sophomore Tony Grillo said.
“I think [Yale’s leader Tom McCarthy] shot a six under, which I think is probably a team record.”
The Crimson finished with a share of sixth—tied with Bryant University—amid the 15-team field. Harvard combined to shoot 864 over the three-round weekend.
Pollak was the Crimson’s first-round leader, shooting a 71 on the par-70 course.
Pollak slipped in the second round, shooting +4, before running three over in round three to finish the tournament at +8.
“We’re a little diasppointed,” Pollak said.
“We played well last week, and I felt like we didn’t have everything together this week.”