Playing the second event of its fall slate of competition, the Harvard men’s golf squad made a northern trek to Quechee, Vt. There, the Crimson took part in a weekend tournament hosted by fellow Ivy League member Dartmouth.
After two rounds of play over two days, the Crimson walked away in second place out of a field of 15 teams, finishing behind only Rhode Island.
“I like the result, and I like where the team appears to be going,” Harvard coach Kevin Rhoads said. “Every player is sharpening his game week to week, and everyone is focusing on all the right things that will makes their skill progression come along nicely.”
The invite took place at the Lakeland Course at the Quechee Club. The 6,671-yard course played at a par 72 for the weekend. Of the course’s 18 holes, 17 of them feature water in play. The course is comprised of five par-three holes as well as five par-fives.
Harvard’s round one score of 287 positioned the team in the third slot, one stroke behind Penn and eight off the pace of Rhode Island. However, Harvard was able to fire a 293 on Sunday, the lowest score for any team in round two. This allowed the Crimson to overtake the Quakers and move within two shots of Rhode Island.
Penn’s 305 in round two dropped the Quakers to fourth place overall at plus-15.
The tournament featured six of the eight Ancient Eight schools, as Cornell, Columbia, and Brown joined Penn, Harvard, and the hosts from Dartmouth on the course. The second through fifth place spots were all occupied by Ivy League competitors, as Cornell, Penn, and Columbia, respectively, finished immediately behind Harvard.
“The result we came away with isn’t important because we were up against other Ivy League teams,” Harvard junior Greg Royston said. “The important thing was the thought process and how we were approaching the event on the course, so that will give us confidence going forward.”
The Big Red’s round two 295 moved Cornell three sports up the leaderboard Sunday, eight strokes behind Harvard.
Temple, Hartford, Colgate, Siena College, Fordham, Central Connecticut, and Holy Cross also traveled to the event. Dartmouth fielded two teams over the weekend.
Overall, team scores were up on Sunday as compared to Saturday, with only Dartmouth, Fordham, and Holy Cross improving upon their round one shot totals.
“We were able to handle some adverse conditions pretty well over the last two days and really do our jobs,” Rhoads said. “We had to deal with some pretty fast greens, some aerified greens, and some really, really strong wind gusts during the course of play, so I’m happy with the outcome.”
On the individual side of play, senior Robert Deng led the way for the Crimson. Deng, playing the tournament exclusively as an individual, finished tied for third overall among 84 entrants. The senior’s 70 on Sunday moved him 13 spots up the leaderboard, leaving him behind only Chris Houston and Billy Walthouse, both hailing from Rhode Island.
Royston and sophomore Seiya Liu, also competing as an individual, concluded play as part of tie for fifth place at even par. They were joined by Columbia’s Joshua Suh. Freshman Rij Patel wrapped up the event one stroke behind Royston and Liu at plus-one, earning him a portion of seventh place. Senior Kendrick Vinar was also a part of this six-player tie.
“Every week when we set out to qualify for the team, there’s never a situation where we know going in who will be selected,” Royston said. “On a week to week basis, any player on the team can step onto the scoring team and play well, which speaks volumes about the depth of the program.”Captain Daniel De La Garza finished the event at three over par, good enough for a share of 14th place. Rounding out the scoring team for the Crimson was sophomore Aurian Capart, who finished seven over.
—Staff writer Jed Rothstein can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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