Last weekend, the Harvard women’s golf team turned its season around, rebounding from a mediocre finish in the previous tournament to nearly win for the first time all season.
This weekend, it was the men’s team to pull off exactly the same feat—except the men did one better.
After a disappointing eighth-place finish at the Princeton Invitational last week, the Crimson men’s golf team dramatically stepped up its game, shooting a 628 at the Century Country Club in Purchase, N.Y., to win the Century Intercollegiate Tournament. The victory, which spanned Saturday and Sunday, marked Harvard’s first this season.
Freshman Seiji Liu led the way for Harvard, shooting a two-day total of 152 on the par-71 course. Liu’s +10 performance was good enough to win the tournament, with the freshman placing first in a field of 45 golfers.
Last weekend, Liu struggled, finishing in 40th place. But something seemed to click for the freshman this weekend.
“I putted terribly last week,” Liu said. “I turned my putting around…[when] my coach gave me a fix.”
“He just figured things out,” freshman Theo Lederhausen added. “Coming out of the winter, he had a few technical things [that] were kind of misaligned…He straightened [them] out, and now he’s playing well.”
The Crimson started off the tournament on the right foot. The team shot a score of 319 on Saturday, which gave Harvard the top spot going into the second day. While +35 was the Crimson’s worst single-day finish of the year, the tough conditions turned what would usually be a below-average score into a tournament-leading one.
The weather was brutal, to say the least. Players had to contend with a gusting wind, heavy rain, and intense cold. Additionally, the course itself was challenging.
The combination of a tough course and harsh weather “tore the field apart,” Liu said.
In fact, in the Princeton Invitational, 12 players had three-round totals of +5 or less. But in Saturday’s round, not one player broke +6.
Perhaps no team felt the weather’s effects on Saturday more than Yale. After firing a -4 overall as a team to win the Princeton Invitational, Yale shot a +40 on Saturday. What’s more, the two Bulldog golfers who led last week’s tournament, shooting -5 and -3, finished the first round this weekend +9 and +10, respectively.
Despite the team’s troubles, Yale remained very much in contention after day one, finishing in second place, five strokes behind the Crimson. Princeton finished the day in third with a 326.
Harvard earned the low score on Saturday thanks in large part to the play of Liu and Lederhausen. Liu seemed rather unfazed by the weather, tying for the tournament low with a 77.
Lederhausen wasn’t far behind, finishing fifth with a strong 79.