Crimson Women's Golf Takes Home Title at Harvard Invitational

Freshman Anne Cheng finished first among individuals at the Harvard Invitational (Harvard Athletic Communications).

By Tiffany Lim '15

This weekend Harvard women's golf hosted their 3rd Harvard Invitational – contested this year at The Bay Club in Mattapoisett, MA.  The five-team field enjoyed beautiful weather throughout the Columbus Day weekend and were tested by The Bay Club's challenging layout and subtle sloping greens.  With their home tournament taking place approximately 1.5 hours from campus, the Crimson faced 3 hours on the road each day.  Team members were nonetheless thankful to be sleeping in their own beds and excited for the tournament ahead.
On the first day of competition, the team teed off with University of Pennsylvania in twosomes.  They moved through 18 holes in under 4 hours, an atypical pace of play for most college tournaments. Light wind added challenge for players to judge yardages and forced them to commit to their routines on every shot. 
Harvard finished the first round with a team total of 299, just 3 strokes off the lead that was held by UPenn.  The Crimson was led by Anne Cheng '17, who sauntered through the course employing her trademark calm and strong ball-striking to shoot a even-par 71.  Senior captain Bonnie Hu followed with solid ball striking and putting that led to a 72.  Hu's result would have better if not for a two-stroke penalty for teeing off on the wrong tee box on #15 – an honest mistake given that the teeing ground for that hole was different than in the practice round. Sophomore Christine Lin hit a lot of fairways and greens yet could not capitalize on many birdie putts, resulting in a strong 75.  Tiffany Lim '15 and Courtney Hooton '16 came in with a pair of 81s.
A frost delay on day 2 pushed back the early-morning shotgun start and shortened warm-up times.  This did not phase the Crimson golfers, who were quick to adjust and proceeded to shoot a team total of 2-over par 286.  Lin's hot putter led her to 3 birdies and many par saves, delivering a score of 70. After getting a better feel for the greens, Lim improved upon her score from Day 1 by 10 strokes with a 71. Cheng, a model of consistency for the team, once again came through with a "slow and steady" 72. In her final home tournament, Hu made 15 pars and posted an impressive 73. Hooton rounded out the day with a respectable 76.
With all the scores in, Harvard Women's Golf came out on top with a team total of 585, distancing themselves from second place Penn by 17 shots.  After placing second in both 2010 and 2011, the team broke through and won their first Harvard Invitational.  The Crimson's scores tested team records: 286 is their second-lowest 18-hole round and the 36-hole total is their third-lowest in team history.  Cheng captured her first individual collegiate victory, while Hu and Lin tied for second. 
The event was a valuable experience for team members, who were able to reaffirm the work they've been doing throughout the year.  This tournament will help each player have confidence to continue focusing on process over outcome.
We want to thank the Bay Club staff, Kevin and Claire, and everyone who made this tournament possible. The coaches spent a lot of time preparing for and running the tournament, including setting up snacks in the morning, shuttling players between holes, and doing scoring in the afternoon, in addition to coaching the team. Finally, we want to thank the Friends of Harvard Golf for their continued support of our program, who allow us to have the amazing experience and the opportunity to represent the Harvard Women's Golf Team. Thank you.