The Harvard men’s golf team started its spring season off at the Furman Intercollegiate Tournament in Greensboro, S.C., finishing 15th out of 21 teams. No. 28 North Florida finished off the three-day tournament on top while No. 10 South Carolina finished tied for fourth. Fellow Ivy competitors Dartmouth and Yale both finished above the Crimson.
After a week of practice in sunny Palm Springs, Harvard, which had not played in a tournament since October of last year, travelled to South Carolina for their season’s inaugural tournament. Because of the natural circumstances—Boston in the winter—the team, before its Spring Break trip to California, had been practicing exclusively inside, lifting, running, and working on technique.
By the end of the weekend, the rust that the team had accrued over the last few months was clear to see. On the first day of the tournament, Friday, the weather was ideal for play. Harvard stumbled through the first round, finishing the day off in 11th, which would prove to be its highest finish all weekend.
Saturday also brought favorable playing conditions, but the Crimson did not improve on its score from the day before. In fact, its score remained the same (301) in all three rounds played. Unfortunately for the Crimson, other teams saw their scores improve from the first to second day, which meant Harvard finished day two in 16th.
Sunday’s weather was all but ideal, as the cold came in with the wind, and players wore as many as five layers. After six hours of play on this freezing course, Harvard again remained consistent in regards to its previous score and managed to move up from 16th to 15th. Though the performance of the team was not up to standard, it was not a wholly unsuccessful weekend, especially given the lack of match experience that the team has had since last fall.
Sophomore Rij Patel shot a score of 71 in the last round, and though he finished tied 48th overall, he had the eighth best performance on Sunday out of 123 competitors.
His teammates were impressed with his display, though it was something not completely unexpected.
“He has really been working hard to maintain form since the end of the fall season,” junior Aurian Capart said. “He looked great in Palm Springs and I was happy that he was able to play at a high level, especially today.”
Senior captain Greg Royston also had a quietly efficient weekend, tying his sophomore teammate at 48th overall. Though he did not have a standout round, he shot consistently all weekend long.
Individual performances aside, this weekend, and the tournaments to come all serve as preparation and practice for the Ivy League Tournament.
“This weekend we figured out what we need to improve on. We had some good things going on as well,” freshman Grant Fairbairn said.
The team travel to Princeton in two weeks for its next tournament, one in which the Crimson has often thrived in.
“The team is looking forward to Princeton,” Capart said. “We want to show improvement, and get sharper day by day. We need to get rid of the rust.”
After a tough first spring weekend, Harvard will continue to march on, attempting to claim the Ivy League title for a third consecutive year.
—Staff writer Max McEvoy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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