The Harvard women’s golf team started its new season off on the right foot this weekend, claiming a victory at the two-day Yale Women’s Intercollegiate, besting second-place Longwood University by 16 shots.
Looking to start fresh after failing to win a tournament all last season, the Crimson traveled to New Haven, Conn., where it expected to find a challenge, as the host Bulldogs are defending Ivy League champions, and the Course at Yale is a notably demanding one.
“It’s definitely a fun course, especially in terms of difficulty,” explained sophomore and Crimson business board member Bonnie Hu.
“When we got to the course, we already knew that the course was one of the best in the world,” freshman Tiffany Lim added. “We were really excited to get the chance to play on it.”
To take down 15 other schools—including Ivy rivals Brown and Yale—on such a tricky course was especially meaningful.
“I’m obviously very pleased with the win,” Harvard coach Kevin Rhoads said. “Especially the first tournament of the season, especially at a very good golf course ... against the reigning Ivy League champions.”
The Crimson was able to establish a lead on the first day of the tournament and hold on for the wire-to-wire victory, as it totaled a three-day score of 894—16 fewer strokes than second-place Longwood and 19 fewer than Nova Southeastern University.
The Crimson looked sharp from the first tee, finishing with a five-shot lead after the first 18 holes and a 13-stroke advantage after 36 holes.
“Day one is a marathon,” Rhoads said. “To play well throughout the entire day is a big challenge.”
But day two proved to be more challenging than the first, as evidenced by a general increase in scores—all 16 squads shot their worst performances in the third round—which Rhoads attributed to exhaustion and a more difficult course.
“Course play was a little more difficult, and people were worn out after a 36-hole day,” Rhoads said. “It’s difficult to walk, and it takes a lot out of people.”
“The configurations were definitely harder. We had a couple extended holes by putting the tees back further,” Hu explained. “It was a bit quite windier today, so the holes felt even longer.”
The margins between the teams stayed relatively the same, however.
“I’m not surprised that the scores were a bit higher, but it wasn’t because we weren’t doing our job or what we came to do,” Rhoads said. “We still came away with our victory.”
Individually, it was Lim who led the charge for the Crimson.