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After a long respite from tournament competition, the Harvard women’s golf team travelled to the Ole Miss Golf Course in Oxford, Miss., for the Rebel Intercollegiate and came away with a 14th place finish against top-tier competition. Each of the top four finishing schools came into the tournament ranked among the top 20 teams in the nation, and two schools finished under par for the three-day, three-round competition.
“We always love coming to this tournament and playing against strong teams,” junior Christine Lin said. “We have spring break and then we had a week in Boston where we didn’t get to go outside and play, so it was really nice to get back into the groove and see how our games are among the teams and how are games are in a tournament situation.”
Anne Cheng, who took the Ivy League Championship title as a freshman and was named Ivy League Rookie of the Year, led the Crimson with a 37th-place finish. The sophomore from Torrance, Calif., shot nine over par for her weekend and also had the Crimson’s only single round under par.
“This weekend I came into [the tournament]...and didn’t know what to expect, so once I started to play on the course, I was just taking my shots and then evaluat[ing] what I needed to work on,” Cheng said. “My playing style was a little bit different each day...so I’m still a little inconsistent, but I’m working on it.”
Though Cheng’s clean second round saw her notch 17 pars and a birdie, the sophomore wasn’t necessarily completely satisfied with the effort.
“On day two, my iron shots and my driver shots were very consistent—and accurate,” Cheng said. “I would say that there were so many pars because my putting was off...it was a missed opportunity, but I’m happy with the round.”
Joining Cheng in the top-50 individually was Lin, who had rounds of plus-3, plus-5, and plus-3, respectively. The junior found success in making sure that her mistakes didn’t snowball, as she avoided carding a double-bogey or worse in all 54 holes.
Despite her solid play, Lin admitted that there were still some room for improvement.
“On the surface, it appeared pretty consistent, but I think the first day I struggled the most with my swing,” Lin said. “I think my mental ability to stay patient was pretty good, and that’s what allowed me to save a lot of pars and get up and down all over the place.”
Elsewhere on the course, freshman Lita Guo demonstrated promise in her second tournament for the team. Guo saved her best for last with a two over par performance on day three, a round in which inexperienced golfers unused to the marathon-like nature of three-round tournaments are prone to struggling due to fatigue.
After not carding a birdie through her first two rounds, Guo shot two under par on the front nine of her final 18 to put a nice finishing touch on her second collegiate tournament appearance.
“I think she really had a good time and found things she needed to work on, and I think she’s working on them correctly,” Lin said. “She’s learning a lot from the college tournaments and from us, and she’s moving in a good direction.”
While Nina Fairbairn had a rough second round with a team-worst 87 on the par-72 course on day two, the sophomore bounced back with a 73 on the final day, which was the lowest score for each of the five Crimson competitors.
“On any given day we reset and every day is different,” Lin said. “It’s very possible that each of us can go low on one day…. It was cool to see her bounce back, taking things day by day and shot by shot.”
Though the Crimson was only 14 strokes off the leading pace after day one, the Harvard women did not come closer to reaching the podium in the next two days. However, it’s best day came on Sunday, when the squad broke the 300 stroke mark as a team with a cumulative day three score of 298.
—Staff writer Caleb Y. Lee can be reached at email@example.com.
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