By Brenna Nelsen '15
Coming off a productive spring break trip to Northern California less than two weeks prior, the Harvard women's golf team flew south for the (tail end of) winter to compete in the 2015 Ole Miss Rebel Intercollegiate. While Harvard was excited about the prospect of testing itself against some of the best teams in the south, the Crimson entered this year's Rebel Intercollegiate with fewer reps than in years prior. After a historic Boston winter, the team had been limited to indoor practice sessions leading up to the event, as almost all golf courses in the greater Boston area remain closed. The team members would use this tournament as an invaluable opportunity to work hard and sharpen their games over the course of the 54-hole event.
With afternoon thunderstorms forecasted, Friday's first round was moved to an early morning shotgun start. The Crimson got off to a solid start during round one, despite battling tough, gusting winds throughout the entire round. The trio of Anne Cheng '17, Christine Lin '16, and Brenna Nelsen '15 paced Harvard with 75's apiece. Lin used her sharp short game to save many pars, while Nelsen carded two birdies on the heels of solid ball striking all day. Cheng was consistent from tee to green, as was fellow classmate Nina Fairbairn '17, who carded a 77. Lita Guo '18 rounded out the Crimson squad with a 78. Harvard finished with a 302 total, placing them in 13th among the 18 teams in the field.
On day two, the skies were clear but the winds held up. Leading the Crimson's charge, Cheng was a model of consistency, carding a one-under par 71—the only bogey-free round through the first 36 holes of the tournament. She hit all but one green, and the sophomore came very close to several more birdie attempts. Lin was pleased to hit a number of fairways and greens on her way to a 77. Nelsen hung tough after a disappointing mid-round stretch to finish with a 79, and Guo managed the windy conditions well on her way to an 80. Fairbairn maintained her focus throughout the round, despite carding an uncharacteristic 87. The Crimson's 307 total for the day left them in 14th place heading into the final day of competition.
On Sunday, the Crimson saved its best round for last, with the team carding a 298. Fairbairn returned to her usual form and led the team with a one-over 73, carding an impressive four birdies on the day. Guo followed suit with a 74, a round that included a bogey-free, two-under par front nine. Lin's solid swinging and consistent putting led to a 75, and Nelsen came in with a 76. Cheng rounded out the team with a 78. Harvard would stay in 14th place at the conclusion of the event.
The Crimson was, as always, incredibly grateful to play in the event. Thanks to the University of Mississippi for hosting the tournament—it is always a favorite among the Crimson players. The Harvard women's golf team would also like to sincerely thank the Friends of Harvard Golf, whose support enables it to compete in out-of-region tournaments. It was an invaluable week of progress, as the team looks forward to the remainder of its spring season and the 2015 Ivy League Championships.