Pictured: Mia Kabasakalis
tied for the individual title this weekend as the Crimson won the
By Kevin Rhoads
SUFFERN, N.Y. – April 16-17 saw the Harvard women's team win another tournament – this time as the crimson played its last regular season tournament of the 2009-2010 season at the Roar-EE Invitational hosted by Columbia. Fifteen teams were vying for the trophy at the same venue as last year – Spook Rock Golf Course in Suffern, New York. Although the results were not as important as winning next week's Ivy Championship – the team's biggest goal of the year – several factors still loomed large.
The first was the same as always: focus on controllable factors to have the best tournament possible. Second, it was a great opportunity for the team to further sharpen their games in preparation for Ivies. Further, with a national ranking in the 50's, there is an outside chance that the team could earn an at-large bid to NCAA Regionals for the first time ever, getting them to that level independent of the results of the Ivy Championship. Historically, the only way that Harvard would have the chance to qualify for Regionals is to win the Ivy Championship, which carries an automatic bid to NCAA Regionals. Last, the team also wanted to improve on their second-place finish from last year's Columbia Invitational – the only tournament that they didn't win during last year's regular season. So there was plenty of motivation.
Although the forecast was for temperatures in the mid 50's with rain, the rain mostly held off on day one. Harvard got off to a good start, led by Junior Mia Kabasakalis ('11, Alameda, Calif..) She hit 12 greens en route to an even par 72, which left her one stroke back of the individual lead. Sarah Harvey had 32 putts on her way to a 76, a score she also shared with teammates Jane Lee ('12, Alamo, Calif.) and Chloe Altchek ('13, Rye, N.Y.) Claire Sheldon ('10, Milton, Mass.) did everything pretty well but couldn't quite find her scoring rhythm, shooting 78. Harvard posted 300, good for a 6 shot lead over Yale and a 7 shot cushion over Penn.
Overnight heavy rain, temperatures hovering around 50 degrees, and late tee times contributed to a slow second round. The final group containing Kabasakalis finished in the dark around 7:20pm, and it tested the patience of the final couple of groups who did not want to face the prospect of another night in New York just to finish a couple of holes. Kabasakalis shot 74 in round two, which tied her for first overall. She hit 14 greens – a career best – and was close on many birdie putts, but couldn't get enough putts to fall to win the title outright. This was her 4th top-6 finish of the season, and her first tie for 1st. Lee also played very well in round 2, stringing together 14 pars in the middle of her round, to also card 74. This gave her an impressive tie for 4th – her best finish in a multi-day event. Sheldon came back with 75 to finish tied for 11th. Altchek shot 78 to come in 14th, and Harvey shot 79 to tie for 15th. Harvard shot 302 to win by 10 shots over Penn, and 16 shots over third-place Yale.
This was an encouraging result in the week leading up to the Ivy Championship. All of the Ivy Schools were represented at Columbia's tournament, so it could be argued that this was a preview of next week's Championships at Baltusrol Golf Club in New Jersey. But every team brings their highest urgency to Ivy's and it will take all of the Crimson's focus, energy, and sharpness honed over last weeks and months to be ready for the challenge. Harvard is shooting for a record third-straight Ivy Championship, and they will give their best effort next week. It will be a fun challenge – one that the team is very excited about. Thank you to everyone for their support.
Par: 72 72 Daily Low Round
Yardage: 6061 6061 Daily Leader Both
Fin Team Scores
1 Harvard University 300 303 603 +27
2 Pennsylvania, Univ 307 306 613 +37
3 Yale University 306 313 619 +43
4 Siena College 324 306 630 +54
5 Columbia University 317 314 631 +55
6 Fairleigh Dickinson 311 321 632 +56
7 Princeton University 318 319 637 +61
8 Sacred Heart Univ. 331 313 644 +68
T 9 Brown University 316 329 645 +69
T 9 Lehigh University 324 321 645 +69
11 Dartmouth College 324 323 647 +71
12 Long Island U-Brklyn 332 318 650 +74
13 Albany, Univ. of 330 328 658 +82
14 Boston University 343 339 682 +106
Fin Name School Scores
T 1 Mia Kabasakalis Harvard 72 76 148 +4
4 Jane Lee Harvard 76 74 150 +6
T 11 Claire Sheldon Harvard 78 75 153 +9
14 Chloe Altchek Harvard 76 78 154 +10
T 15 Sarah Harvey Harvard 76 79 155 +11