The Harvard men’s golf team stepped up to the challenge of playing without captain Rohan Ramnath this weekend, placing third overall at the Quechee Club Collegiate Challenge this weekend hosted by fellow Ancient Eight opponent Dartmouth.
In its second tournament of the year, the squad travelled to the Quechee Club in Vermont to face off against 11 other teams, including Ivy League rivals Brown, Cornell, and Penn. Playing 36 holes over two days, the Crimson shot seven-over-par, finishing one stroke behind Rhode Island and five behind the Big Green, who took home first.
“It was a really good weekend for us building off our work from St. John’s two weeks ago,” junior Kendrick Vinar said. “The guys did the right things, worked hard, gave it 100 percent, and gave ourselves a chance coming into today.”
After the first 18 holes of the 36-hole showdown, the Crimson held second place after shooting 290, trailing the hosts by five strokes and leading Rhode Island by eight. However, Harvard was unable to surpass Dartmouth, dropping behind Rhode Island in the process.
“We didn’t quite execute the way we wanted to,” Vinar said.
Following its second-round 293, the Crimson ended with a score of 583. Dartmouth held the lead throughout the tournament, finishing at 578. And by making up an eight-stroke deficit, Rhode Island edged out Harvard with a score of 582.
The battle for the top spot was limited to three teams, as fourth-place Hartford finished 20 shots back of the Crimson. Ancient Eight rival Cornell earned ninth, while Penn and Brown finished 11th and 12th, respectively.
“I think we focused on all the right things we can control. Unfortunately, we were a little bit short from the goal. We’re going to keep working…and hopefully get the results we want next week,” said junior Daniel De La Garza.
Saturday’s leader was John Lazor, a freshman from Dartmouth, who fired a five-under 67. For Harvard, the juniors led the charge in the opening round as De La Garza shot a two-under 70 and Vinar finished one-under with a 71. Both players finished the tournament at an even par, tying for fifth overall at 144.
The individual champion of the tournament was sophomore Billy Walthouse of Rhode Island, who shot a six-under 138.
The three juniors who played—De La Garza, Vinar, and Robert Deng—finished with the team’s three lowest scores, with Deng shooting a 147 to position him at 12th place overall. They were joined on the course by freshman Aurian Capart and sophomore Hale Furey.
After shooting for par in the second round, Capart finished with a four-over 148 to go along with a 13th place finish. Meanwhile, Furey finished five shots behind him with a 153 for the tournament.
“All the guys are really good at just taking care of their own stuff,” Vinar said. “They all stepped up… and took on the responsibility, and they just played their games. Frankly, we’ve got a really deep team right now. One through nine, we’ve really got a lot of guys who can shoot some really good numbers.”
That depth was needed this weekend. After tying a Harvard record for the lowest single-round score with a 64 in the Doc Gimmler Invite, Ramnath stayed home for the weekend due to injury.
“Obviously, Rohan is a great player and we’d love to have him out here with us, but we’re glad that he’s taking care of himself,” Vinar said. “We hope that he’ll be out here shortly.”
The team focused on honing in on key facets of its game, improving from its fourth-place finish two weekends ago at the Doc Gimmler. Next weekend, the Crimson will get a chance to compete against more Ancient Eight rivals as it heads to Yale for the MacDonald Cup.
“I think one of the issues at [Doc Gimmler] was that the team was tired…. So we really tried to pace ourselves,” De La Garza said. “ [The players] practiced what they think they needed to and rested. I think we balanced very well resting and playing. We’re going to keep working and try to do our best and hopefully get the results we want next week.”