In its second competition of the fall season, the Harvard men’s golf team finished third at the Quechee Club Collegiate Challenege, with strong performances from multiple players. The current Ivy League champions finished with 586 points, behind rivals Princeton (571 points), and winners Drexel (570) – hosts Dartmouth finished 8th out of 14.
Senior Greg Royston, a native of Cape Town, South Africa, finished 3rd overall, shooting a 70 and a 73, with an overall score of 1 under par – two shots off the lead. After a clinical first round of three under he finished two over par in the second, but he was still able to keep that level of consistency necessary to break into the top three for the competition. Other notable performances included Belgium native and junior Aurian Capart who finished 15th overall with a score of three above par. Sophomore Ryan Rhee also produced a score of +3 tying Capart in 15th.
After two weeks of intra-squad qualifiers and practice, the Crimson was ready for real competition when it left campus Friday morning. After a practice round where the team was able to get to grips with fast greens and narrow fairways, the team knew mechanically what it had to do.
“Because the greens were quite sloped, we knew that even the smallest of mistakes on the green could lead to real problems, so we focused on minimizing the dangers of the slick greens,” Capart said.
Tee-shots were especially important as well, given the narrow nature of the course, with mistakes here causing a more difficult than usual path going forward, thus making the first and last shots the most difficult on the course.
Harvard started the first day of competition well, coming out on top at the end of the day. Sunday was full of more solid performances, though the team slipped from first to third overall.
Perhaps the most encouraging takeaway from the weekend was seen in freshman Chase Furey’s play. The California native played as an individual after not making the top five in qualifiers for Harvard last week. When it came to real competition, however, he excelled, drawing level with Capart, tying him in 15th. He had an especially exceptional second round, shooting two under.
This match bodes well for the Crimson who lost many of its strongest players to graduation last season – Robert Deng and captain Daniel De La Garza among others – but what has been true for the 2016 and 2017 Ivy League Champions is that players have always been able to step up and fill the gap left behind. Royston and Capart, a senior and junior respectively know they have important roles to play this year in terms of leadership and performance. And away from them, freshman Chase Furey’s performance points towards the necessity of talent maintenance.
The Crimson train is gaining momentum with the renewal of ability and the familiarization with intra-team roles, and they best stay hot if they are to survive the Boston winter.
—Crimson staff writer Max McEvoy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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