The Harvard men’s golf team took fifth place in the Seahawk Intercollegiate Tournament hosted by University of North Carolina Wilmington to open up the spring slate of competition for the Crimson.
The pool of fourteen teams included Ivy League contender Columbia, who ended the weekend with an eighth-place finish.
“We were coming off a week of practicing indoors after spring break,” captain Akash Mirchandani said. “All things considered I think the guys played really well. There is room for improvement, but the tournament was productive. Everyone seems to be moving in the right direction.”
Freshman Greg Royston came out of the tournament tied for ninth with a total score of 222 to lead Harvard. Sophomore Kendrick Vinar opened with a first round one-under-par score of 69 in his home state of N.C. to notch the lowest score posted in the opening round. Vinar would fall back to finish 28th after completing the next two rounds.
In individual scoring, Georgia’s Lee McCoy and Virginia Commonwealth’s Adam Ball tied for first place with an even-par score of 216. Campbell emerged as the overall tournament winner, shooting a combined 16 strokes over par. The Bulldogs finished only five strokes behind the Fighting Camels.
“I view this weekend as a success,” coach Kevin Rhoads said. “And a good step on our progression that we need to follow through the spring. I was very happy with the outcome of the results, but even happier on the first day of how our focus was on the right things and how our games were holding up, despite not being outdoors [in practice].”
Two of the Crimson’s other three competitors—junior Rohan Ramnath and Mirchandani—finished in the top 50. Ramnath shot a strong performance of one-under par in the second round on Sunday afternoon, which put him as a 39th-place finisher.
“We finished the fall semester very strongly,” Rhoads said. “It took a little while to get going in the fall season, and we’re starting this spring season at a much higher place. The main thing is that we have to keep on staying patient, and staying really smart on what we’re doing in each of our rounds. If we can do that, I’ll be very pleased with what we do in the spring.”
The inclement weather conditions this weekend threw a wrinkle into the three-round tournament. Below-freezing temperatures highlighted the first round of play, while powerful gusts of wind were prevalent in the ultimate 18 holes.
The Crimson has not been able to train outdoors often because of the incessant cold weather in the Greater Boston area, and found it difficult to prepare for weather obstacles the team could not simulate during its indoor practices. While the players try to find time to spend on golf courses, many of the courses within a five-hour radius of Harvard’s campus are currently closed.
“In general, our games are very close and just require more outdoor repetitions so that we all are hitting shots,” Mirchandani said. “Like today, [Monday], for example, it was very windy and you need to be used to visualizing shots and dealing with different obstacles, and I think we’re just trying to get used to that aspect again.”
The Crimson ended the first round of the tournament in first place, and fell spots each subsequent round. While the Crimson finished in ourth-to-last-place in is final round, Harvard did enough in the first two rounds to place in the top five.
“The score we shot today was not great," Rhoads said. "But the overall take away from the weekend was very positive. There are certain things that you cannot simulate indoors, and we were playing against a bunch of schools that do come down [to North Carolina] to play all the time. Our guys are in a really good place. I just hope that weather conditions and course practice allows us to show just how good we are.”
—Staff writer Emily T. Wang can be reached at email@example.com.
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