Amidst windy conditions, the Harvard women’s golf team finished third at this weekend’s Yale Women’s Fall Intercollegiate tournament.
In the field of 16 at The Course, the Bulldogs’ home venue, the Crimson finished ahead of all five other Ivy League teams that competed and was bested only by Nova Southeastern and Penn State.
Harvard recorded an overall score of 886 (+22), coming within a single stroke of second place.
Four Crimson golfers finished in the top 20 individually.
Sophomore Tiffany Lim took fifth place with a score of 218 (+2), junior captain Bonnie Hu—who won last year’s Ivy League Championships—tied for 11th with sophomore teammate Brenna Nelsen at six over par.
“We have a great team this year and I think this is a good indicator of how we will do going forward,” said Hu, who is also a Crimson business editor.
The Crimson won the tournament by 16 strokes last fall, when Lim—last year’s Ivy League Rookie of the Year—tied for first place at two over par with Yale’s Seo Hee Moon.
This year, Moon finished in a tie for 17th, seven strokes behind Lim. The Bulldogs notched a team score of 909 (+45).
After Friday’s play, Harvard was in second place with a first-day score of 298 (+10), trailing Nova Southeastern by six strokes.
But the Crimson could not hold its position for long as the Nittany Lions passed Harvard on Saturday. The team fell 13 strokes further behind Nova Southeastern after Nova shot a 281, 10 shots lower than any other team notched in a single round all weekend.
Freshman Christine Lin led the Crimson with a 72 on Saturday, her best day of the weekend. Lin’s lowest single-round score tied for the team’s best individual round after Nelsen and Lim both shot 72 on Sunday.
“I think the key thing is to stay patient and stay within yourself,” Lin said. “Don’t worry about the things that you cannot control… focus one shot at a time and bring that confidence and commitment to every shot.”
In its ninth year under head coach Kevin Rhoads, Harvard brought no seniors to its first tournament of the season, adding Lin and fellow freshman Courtney Hooton.
Lin comes to Harvard highly touted. Chosen by Golf World as one of its 50 players to watch in 2012, the freshman was ranked 10th in the country coming into the season, adding to Harvard’s history of impact freshman brought in under Rhoads’ leadership.
“It was a great team experience,” said Lin of her first collegiate event. “We have a tournament next week, and I definitely want to take this as a starting point for this year.”
The Crimson is entering the season as the defending Ivy League champion and has won three of the past five titles. Harvard finished 23 strokes ahead of Yale and 33 strokes ahead of Princeton, beating out the other two lowest scoring Ivy League competitors in the sixteen-team field.
“Our team is a lot stronger this year and we have five girls who in any given round could be leading,” Hu said. “In practice, even though everyone is working on different things and what area of their game they need to improve, when we play the course, we definitely push each other.”
On the weekend, the team posted consistent individual scores in the 70s on the par-72 course. Only one Crimson golfer had a round over 80—Hooten’s 81 on Sunday.
“The Yale course is a tough course and I think any score in the mid-to-low 70s is a good score,” Hu said. “For me personally, being able to shoot 75 is a good confidence booster going into the season, and it’s nice to know that you’re coming back from summer and after a couple weeks of practice you’re already ready to go.”
The Crimson will enter its second round of competition this weekend at the Nittany Lion Women’s Invitational.