Consistent Play Helps Harvard to Eighth at McLaughlin

Last year, the Harvard men’s golf team travelled to the Bethpage Red Course in Farmingdale, N.Y., for the McLaughlin and came away with a school record for lowest team score ever in a three-round tournament.

This past weekend, the Crimson had hoped to build off last year’s success—as well as last weekend’s strong showing against Yale and Princeton—in the team’s second event of the season.

Although Harvard did not fare as well as it did last season, the team was able to finish the weekend in eighth place, with a total score of 861 strokes.

“Our performance wasn’t bad, but unfortunately, we didn’t play well enough, we all kind of played about 75 percent, which is not good enough to win,” said captain Tony Grillo, whose two-day performance placed him in a tie for 26th. “We were hoping to do better, but it’s not a terrible start to the season—it’s a consistent start.”

“Nobody really caught fire during the tournament, and that’s what we need to win,” he added.

Hosted by St. John’s and featuring a mix of 18 Ivy and non-Ivy teams, the McLaughlin is held on the Red Course of Bethpage State Park, which contains four other courses. The Black Course was the site of the 2002 and 2009 U.S. Open.

“To be honest, the course was probably the easiest we play all year, in terms of set-up and the conditions. That’s why we’re disappointed we didn’t take it lower,” Grillo said.

The tournament began on Friday under fairly moderate weather, with only a little wind and clear skies, for the most part.

The Crimson shot a 285 in the opening round, finishing in a tie for fourth place, but 11 strokes off leader (and eventual champion) Western Florida.

Leading the team in the first round were sophomore Theo Lederhausen and freshman Akash Mirchandani, who each shot par rounds of 70. They were followed by sophomore Seiji Liu (71), senior Mark Pollak (74), and Grillo (75).

In the second round that afternoon, the Crimson ended the day with 288, putting the team 25 strokes off the lead.

Grillo had a team-low of 68 that round.

“I caught fire,” he said. “We just need more of that.”

Following the captain’s lead, Lederhausen, Pollak, Mirchandani, and Liu finished their second rounds by shooting 72, 73, 75, and 76, respectively.

On Saturday, under similar conditions, Harvard shot a total of 288 again, demonstrating the team’s overall consistency.