The Harvard men’s golf team kicked off the spring season Saturday, finishing third at the Met Invitational in New York.
Hosted by Yale, the tournament featured 18 holes at the Century Country Club in the morning and 18 more at the Old Oaks Country Club in the afternoon. The Crimson shot a 23-over 307 and a 31-over 311 on the day, finishing five strokes behind the second-place Bulldogs.
“It was our first tournament of the spring, so there’s always some tournament rust when you come off the winter,” captain Theo Lederhausen said. “We definitely think we could have played a little better, but we were definitely moving in the right direction.”
In the eight-team and forty-player field, all five Harvard golfers managed to crack the top 20. Lederhausen led the way, finishing tied for tenth place after shooting a five-over 76 at Century and an eight-over 78 at Old Oaks.
Sophomore Rohan Ramnath and freshman Robert Deng also had strong performances, each tying for 12th place with 14-over 155s. Additionally, freshmen Kendrick Vinar and Daniel De La Garza posted scores of 157 and 160, respectively.
The high stroke totals up and down the leaderboard were largely a product of the weather, as well as tough course conditions. The golfers had to battle a strong wind all day, and following a rainy week in New York, both courses were very wet.
“When a course is wet, it makes it a lot longer,” Lederhausen said. “These were already pretty difficult courses that we’ve played, but with them being even longer…it was [even harder].”
While the majority of the field was clearly impacted by the difficult conditions, one held its ground, cruising to first place seemingly unfazed.
Georgia, ranked No. 5 in the nation, shot a 16-over 580 as a team, finishing 33 strokes ahead of its closest competitor, Yale. Sophomore Lee McCoy posted the best score of the day on both courses, shooting a seven-under 64 in the morning and a one-over 71 in the afternoon.
“It’s always good to see a team like that because it kind of sets the bar pretty high,” Lederhausen said.
The rest of the field was made up of more familiar foes for the Crimson, as the entire Ivy League was represented at the competition, with the exceptions of Penn and Columbia. Besides Yale, the Crimson distanced itself from the rest of the Ancient Eight pack, finishing 15 strokes ahead of fourth-place Princeton.
“As far as how we shot and how we stood up relative to the rest of the field, I’m quite pleased with what we did,” Harvard coach Kevin Rhoads said. “We’re in a good place. It’s a good start to the season, and now we got to just keep on extending [our] work and extending our momentum into the next couple weeks.”
—Staff writer Jake T. Meagher can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.