Even in the midst of winds that reached 40 miles per hour, the Harvard women’s golf team was able to keep its winning streak alive and earn a first-place finish at the Ivy League Championships this past weekend.
Sophomore Bonnie Hu took first place individually at the three-day tournament, shooting a score of 225 (+12) to earn the wire-to-wire victory at the par-71 Seaview Bay Course in Galloway, N.J.
Riding the momentum from a victory at its last tournament, the Roar-EE Invitational, the Crimson took its first league championship in three years.
With an overall team score of 952 (+100), Harvard finished six strokes better than second-place finisher Penn. Yale, which edged out the Crimson for first place in last year’s Ancient Eight showdown, earned a third-place finish with a score of 962 (+110).
Columbia (+120), Brown (+133), Princeton (+163), and Dartmouth (+177) rounded out the bottom four spots
“We haven’t won in three years, but each year the team is different,” said Hu, who is also a Crimson business editor. “There was definitely pressure because we knew that we were good enough to win.”
In addition to the team’s Ivy League title, the Crimson earned a host of individual accolades. Hu was named to the All-Ivy First Team, and senior Jane Lee received second-team honors.
After being ranked as the sixth best freshman in the nation coming into the year by Golfweek Magazine, freshman Tiffany Lim was also awarded the Ivy League Rookie of the Year accolade.
Lim added to her success this weekend by placing ninth individually with a score of 241 (+28). She was closely followed by Lee, who tied for 10th after shooting a 244 (+31).
The entire Crimson squad finished in the top 15 individually.
Freshman Brenna Nelsen shot a 246 (+33) en route to a tie for 12th place. Senior Christine Cho came in right behind Nelson by finishing tied for 15th with an overall score of 247 (+34).
Despite Harvard’s ultimate victory, the weekend did not begin well for the Crimson. After round one, which featured unusually difficult playing conditions, Harvard sat in third place behind the Quakers and the Bulldogs, shooting a 332.
Hu was still able to notch a 77 on Friday, putting her in the first-place position. Lim shot an 83, followed by Lee with an 86.
“It was really tough on Friday because of the winds,” Harvard coach Kevin Rhoads said. “The greens were fast and sloped, and there were super tough tee placements. We saw lots of people doing lots of crazy things, so it became how much [we could] stay focused and rely on the skills that [we] have and not get distracted by what’s going on.”
Lim said, “None of us had ever played in conditions like that before, so we weren’t completely prepared. We did a really good job with our mental game and managing the putt position. Otherwise, we would have never been in the position that we were going into the last few days.”