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Crimson Heads to Ivies this Weekend

By Darren McLeod, Contributing Writer

This weekend, the Harvard women’s and men’s golf teams are looking to upset the rest of the Ancient Eight in an Ivy League Championship after having their best finishes of the season last weekend in their respective tournaments. This series is bound to be full of chips, drives, and putts in poor conditions.

The women are looking to win their first women’s golf Ivy League championship in four years, while the men are looking to win their very first Ivy League title since 1974.

The women’s tournament will take place at the Atlantic City Country Club. Meanwhile the men’s team is set to face off on the fairways of Galloway National Golf Club in Galloway, New Jersey on April 22 for their first round of play.

“We’re just going to go into this weekend with the same mentality that we had when we played in our last tournament,” freshman Bonnie Hu said. “Even though the weather isn’t looking so great this weekend, we’re just going to focus on the aspects of our game that we can control.”

“As a team we are confident going into this weekend but understand we have to manage our games wisely to be able to capitalize on opportunities because this course is the hardest we will be playing on this year,” freshman Seiji Liu said.

After facing rivals Yale and Princeton last weekend, the Crimson hopes to ride its first-place finish in the Century Intercollegiate into this coming weekend.

Harvard was faced with cold temperatures and strong winds in the Century and is expected to face similar conditions this weekend.

Rain and wind are set to be a factor on all three days of the series. After playing well in poor conditions on Saturday, the Crimson may have the edge it needs to pull out a victory over the top-ranked Bulldogs according to the current Golfstat rankings.

“We as a team have historically played well in poor conditions and feel it reflects on keeping a strong mindset and fighting out the rounds until the end,” Liu said.

Yale is atop the leader board as a team, but Columbia is looking to win its fourth consecutive Ivy League Championship this week.

The feat has only been accomplished one other time. The Tigers won four consecutive Ivy League championships from 1979 to 1982.

This weekend is also important in continuing Harvard’s season with the possibility of a NCAA tournament bid on the line for the victor.

While the golfers are competing for a team championship, they are also vying for individual honors, which are solely based upon this weekends result. The top-five finishers will automatically be placed on the All-Ivy team and the next five will be named to the All-Ivy second team.

The women’s team is in a comparable situation in looking to garner momentum going into this weekend.

After its second place finish last weekend at the Brown Bear Invitational, the Crimson is looking to finish strong in the 15th Ivy League Championship series.

“We’re all really excited about going into Ivy’s because of all the work we put in prior to this weekend and throughout the season,” Hu said.

Harvard has already faced all of this weekend’s competition. If last weekend was an indicator of what is to happen this weekend, things are looking up for the Crimson. The team finished second behind Princeton, who is also atop the Ivy League in women’s golf.

“The second place last weekend definitely helps because it shows us that we’re definitely capable of shooting low scores and competing successfully against the other ivy leagues,” Hu said.

Captain Mia Kabasakalis and Hu were among the top finishers in last weekend’s contest, with Kabasakalis taking fifth and Hu seventh. Hu finished the season ranked seventh in the individual Ivy League rankings.

Harvard has already received a bid for the NCAA regional tournament due to play earlier in the season but is looking to return to the top of the league after a title eluded it last year.

The Crimson won the league title in  2008 and 2009 and went undefeated in regular-season spring play. But Harvard fell to Penn and Yale at Baltusrol Golf Club. The men’s team finished fifth last year at Baltusrol after leading the league after the first round.

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