Though warm weather has apparently already arrived up here in Cambridge, the Harvard men’s golf team traveled down to Florida for spring break in preparation for the upcoming spring season.
And after a week of practice, the Crimson faced Ivy League rival Cornell in its first match of the spring season. On a slightly overcast Sunday morning, Harvard defeated the Big Red, 7-1, in an exhibition match at the Medalist Golf Club in Hobe Sound, Fla.
Unlike most matches, which aggregate the top scores from each team to determine the winner, Sunday's contest featured head-to-head matchups in which the low shooter in each pairing earned a point for his squad.
“Overall it was a good match,” sophomore Theo Lederhausen said. “We all played well, and we’re very happy with it, and we’re very confident going forward.”
After only beating Cornell by three strokes last October in the Philadelphia Big 5 Invitational, the Crimson had somewhat of an advantage this time around, as the Big Red had only just arrived in Florida for its spring break trip.
Harvard managed to take the top four matches of the day, with senior Mark Pollack, Lederhausen, captain Tony Grillo, and freshman Akash Mirchandani all topping their Cornell opponent.
“We played a beautiful course; it was really hard,” Lederhausen said. “I putted really well and hit a lot of good shots, so it was really good to start the year off playing a good round.”
Sophomore Seiji Liu dropped his match in the fifth spot, but sophomore Michael Lai won as the sixth seed. Sophomore Kevin McCarthy played both in the seventh and eighth spots, winning both.
With a week of practice under its belt—in addition to earlier practice thanks to fortunate weather up north—the Crimson feels well prepared heading into the major part of the season later in April.
“We had a lot of good practice because we are at good facility, PGA National,” Harvard coach Jim Burke said. “We had a great trip, the guys are playing well, and we got a lot of good work done on the spring trip.”
“We feel like we are ready to go, and we are excited for our upcoming tournaments in a few weekends,” Lederhausen added.
—Staff writer David Mazza can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.