The Harvard women’s golf team’s victorious streak came to an abrupt stop this weekend at the 35th Annual Nittany Lion Women’s Invitational Tournament.
After winning the previous two tournaments, the Crimson tied for ninth place with Ivy rival Yale. The team finished the two rounds at +48 on the par-72 Blue Course in State College, Pa. Fifteen schools competed in the tournament.
“It was a tough weekend, coming off of what we’ve done the first two weeks,” Harvard coach Kevin Rhoads said. “Expectations are going to be high with every tournament you play after that, and it’s hard to be consistently great.”
“This weekend was definitely a struggle for us,” freshman Tiffany Lim added.
Overall, there were little problems that became magnified throughout the tournament: an early ending, the weather, and putting trouble.
Round three was cancelled early Sunday morning, ending the tournament and Harvard’s chances to narrow the gap between it and the leaders. Rain all weekend made the greens flooded in parts and muddy in others.
“We were starting to play with low form, and to make it worse, we didn’t have a chance to make up any ground after the first day,” Rhoads said about the cancelled third round.
The scores from the first two rounds were then finalized (315-309), cementing the Crimson’s standing outside the winner’s circle, a place unfamiliar to the squad this season.
“To finish in the middle of the field was disappointing,” Rhoads said. “We didn’t play well either round.”
The poor conditions and the lack of practice really got to Harvard.
“The first days were cold and rainy,” Lim explained. “It’s just not a ton of fun in the cold rain.”
The women played in 30 and 40 degree weather throughout the weekend. Not only was the team plagued by the rain and cold, but the course also suffered.
The Blue Course, one of Penn State’s challenging greens, has green-side bunkers and fairway bunkers, with water hazards to complicate it.
“The course was saturated,” Rhoads said. “You have to stay mentally strong and muddle your way through the day.”
“It took a lot longer than usual because of the conditions,” added sophomore Bonnie Hu, who is also a member of the Crimson business board.