As the Harvard men’s golf team walks across the freshly cut grass of Sebonack Golf Club on Long Island, N.Y., this Sunday, it will not only be sporting new Swedish designer clothing but a fresh outlook on the upcoming season.
The Crimson will take part in the annual Harvard-Yale-Princeton match this weekend, which will provide an early test for a team that has added four strong freshman recruits to a roster that didn’t graduate a single person last year.
Top returners include senior Mark Pollak, who was named second-team All Ivy after taking 11th at last year’s Ivy League Championships.
Right behind him was sophomore Theo Lederhausen, who finished 13th at the event.
The team also welcomes Sam Barrington, Frederic Fisher, Jordan Mann, and Akash Mirchandani.
While in school in Workingham, U.K., Mann captained the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, and Oxfordshire County U18 Elite team as well as his school team at Wellington College.
“We are definitely confident going into this weekend with everyone returning from last year and are excited to get back out there,” Lederhausen said. “Our goal is to start off strong with a win over both Yale and Princeton.”
The Crimson is looking to improve upon last season and challenge the defending Ivy League champion Bulldogs.
“We all want to come out strong in our first outing and show how our work during the summer really helped to improve our game,” Pollak said.
The challenge that Harvard will face this weekend is one that they have prepared for all summer and fall.
“All of us worked on our game during the summer to try and improve different aspects of our game,” sophomore Michael Lai said. “We’ve even changed up our practice strategy some to become even more effective in the coming tournaments.”
Playing rival schools adds a certain fire to every tournament, even the first of the fall.
“Though this type of tournament is somewhat casual and friendly, we are going in with the mindset that we have to win to prepare us for the rest of the season,” Pollak said. “The goal is simple. Win.”
Yale and Princeton both finished above Harvard in the Ivy League Championship last year.
The Bulldogs won the tournament by 20 strokes. The Tigers, meanwhile, finished fifth, only four shots ahead of the sixth-place Crimson.