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The Harvard men’s golf team continued its recent trek down the Eastern seaboard Saturday, making a trip to Purchase, N.Y., to compete in the Met Intercollegiate Tournament, hosted by fellow Ivy League school Yale. Competitors played 36 holes over the course of the competition. The morning round took place at Century Country Club, while the afternoon’s 18 holes were played at Old Oaks Country Club.
Behind top-five finishes from sophomores Kendrick Vinar and Robert Deng, Harvard placed third in team competition, with a combined score of 635 over the two rounds. The Crimson came into the clubhouse behind only Army and champion Temple.
“Temperatures were in the low 40s, there were 20…mile per hour winds throughout the day, and rain was falling,” Harvard coach Kevin Rhoads said. “At our best, our shot count would be much lower, but I’m not concerned given the conditions.”
On the individual side, Vinar rode a plus-nine scoreline to a runner-up finish, three strokes behind Brandon Matthews of Temple. Vinar shot a 74 in the first round, followed by a 76 in the second. The score of 74 tied him with Matthews for the top score at Century.
Also placing in the top-five for the Crimson was sophomore Robert Deng. The Irvine, Calif., native ended tied for fourth place with a combined score of 13 shots over par.
In addition to Vinar, the Crimson squad was comprised of junior Rohan Ramnath, freshman Gregory Royston, captain Akash Mirchandani, and sophomore Daniel De La Garza. Deng competed at the invitational as an individual player.
Ramnath ended his day plus-19, tied for 21st overall, while Royston’s plus-20 result was good for 25th.
Both courses were tough for all teams, as only one competitor was able to match par in a single round, and no player was able to finish under par.
“The course was quite up and down, so it was a long walk throughout the day,” Royston said. “That combined with the wind was mentally taxing and had some of us drained by the end of the day.”
Harvard did not have the luxury of being able to play outdoors from October to March due to the frigid temperatures in the Boston area. The team took a trip to California during spring break in order to get some practice in before commencing their spring campaign.
“It seems like every course within a four and a half hour radius of us is still closed,” Rhoads said. “Playing outside during spring break helped us, but it’s been difficult for us to be able to play outdoors on a consistent basis.”
Of the nine schools participating in the invitational, only four schools hailed from outside the Ivy League: Temple, Army, Bucknell, and Fordham.
“It’s always nice to get in some play against strong teams from other regions,” Royston said. “Seeing other teams who have been able to play outdoors throughout the year gives us a good barometer of where we’re at.”
Harvard finished first among Ancient Eight competitors, besting Yale, Cornell, Penn, and Brown, who finished fourth, fifth, sixth, and eighth, respectively. In three weeks, the Crimson will be facing these teams, as well as the rest of the Ivy League, at the Ivy Championships to determine who earns a trip to the NCAA regionals.
“We need to improve on everything, but overall it’s the more nuanced aspects of the game,” Rhoads said. “Things like taking the wind into account, putting directionally, and remaining mentally sound are what’s going to make the biggest difference moving forward.”
This is the Crimson’s second tournament since the conclusion of the fall season in October. Harvard was able to improve on its fifth-place finish last weekend in the Seahawk Intercollegiate Tournament.
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