Both the Harvard men's and Harvard women's golf teams head into the weekend vying for the title at the Ivy League Championships.
In search of its first Ancient Eight Championship since 1975, the men’s team will travel to Galloway, N.J. this weekend to compete against the rest of the conference at the Galloway National Golf Club.
The women’s team, with three tournaments won this year, looks to continue its dominance in its bout this weekend at the Seaview Bay Course in N.J. and return the title to Harvard after a three year hiatus.
Especially given both team's recent success, the Crimson men and women will look to sweep the Ivy League Championships for the first time in program history.
The Ivy Championships seem to be arriving at an especially good time for men’s golf, as the team’s results have been improving over the two tournaments the team has played in the spring season thus far.
“We’re feeling really good, especially after the showing last week,” captain Tony Grillo said. “We just have to take it one stroke at a time.”
Two weekends ago, the Crimson placed fifth out of 14 in the Princeton Invitational behind Yale, Columbia, and Princeton.
Last weekend, Harvard finished second out of nine in the Century Intercollegiate behind leader the University of Rhode Island but ahead of all other Ivy League teams competing.
The Crimson will face stiff competition from many of the Ivy League squads, including the Bulldogs, who won the Championship last year at Galloway and the Princeton Invitational two weeks back.
The Lions and Tigers also finished ahead of Harvard in that tournament, and Dartmouth bested the Crimson last fall en route to winning the Philadelphia Big 5 Invitational (in which the University of Pennsylvania finished ahead of Harvard as well).
“No doubt we’re playing the best golf in my four years here," Grillo said. "But at the same time, the players are getting much better in the Ivy League; the competition is tighter. It’s pretty wide open. I don’t think there are only one or two teams who could take it.”
But Grillo also notes that the team has won tournaments in the spring in the past and have not fared well at the Ivy’s, like last season. In 2009, Harvard placed first in the tournament the week prior to the championship tournament but then sixth at Ivys.
For seniors Pollak and Grillo, it is their last chance to bring back a championship to the Crimson that has eluded it for 37 years.
“It would be huge, but we have to go out there and just play golf,” Grillo said. “But it would definitely be special.”
Although it could very well be the last tournament of the season, Grillo believes otherwise.