In last year’s season, the Harvard men’s golf team turned heads after winning two tournaments during the spring season and clinching third place in the Ivy League tournament. In the two wins, the Crimson set tournament records for team scoring and individual scoring.
“The team is in an exciting place right now,” coach Kevin Rhoads said. “I started coaching...two seasons ago, and the team was on the rise even before that. Last season there was a lot of foundational work done, which really started to show in the spring of last year.”
This fall season, the team is looking to integrate the two incoming freshmen, Hale Furey—from Newport Beach, California—and Gregory Royston, from Durban, South Africa, into the program. Royston is ranked 18th in the South African Golf Association men’s amateur rankings, while Furey has been a member of Team Southern California for two years.
“Our director of golf, Fred Schernecker, does a really good job of getting recruits that would fit in well with the team culture,” sophomore Kendrick Vinar said. “We got to meet [the freshmen] last year, and we’re thrilled to have them on the team...I know these guys will put in the work and give their best effort.”
The Crimson lost Theodore Lederhausen ’14, who captained the team last year and won the individual Ivy League championship, as well as Seiji Liu ’14 and Kevin McCarthy ’14.
All six returning golfers were key members of the team last spring and are players Rhoads expects to be able to trust to perform well.
“We’ve got a really well rounded team,” Vinar said. “Everyone on the team is very strategic and level-headed out on the course. You don’t see anyone losing their temper or conducting themselves poorly. Besides being the image we want to represent for the university and the program, it strengthens your golf game to be able to control your emotions like that and everyone on the team this year can do a really good job of that.”
Junior Rohan Ramnath, who claimed his first individual win at Yale last spring season, and captain Akash Mirchandani, who won the Princeton tournament individual championship in April, lead a strong team of returning players. Last year, the Crimson notched seven top-five finishes as a team.
“I feel very confident that all eight of our players could travel in any given week,” Rhoads said. “And not just travel but also give us a chance [to win]. If last spring was any indication, for us to have almost all returners and then two other strong players is going to be very good for us.”
Rhoads is starting his third season with the men’s team. After training his team up to five top finishes last season after just one in 2012-2013, Rhoads has focused on internal improvement rather than a specific number of finishes.
“The goals we set are generally more internal,” Rhoads said. “A lot of it has to do with working within our process. The biggest thing I want us to do is know...is to make each individual player the best, and to really work to make sure we’re getting close to 100 percent focus on these things day in and day out.”
The Crimson’s first challenge is at the University of Michigan Golf Course, where they will be competing in the Wolverine Collegiate this weekend.
“We have an awesome coaching staff,” Vinar said. “I’m just going to be trying to pick their brains and try to learn and grow as much as I can, and hopefully the team is in a good place and we play well this fall. I’m just going to try to focus on the things I can control, and I’m excited about that.”
—Staff writer Emily T. Wang can be reached at email@example.com.