Nelsen tied for 14th place to lead the Crimson charge (Joe Raymond).
SOUTH BEND, Ind. – The Harvard women's golf team wrapped up competition at the NCAA Women's Golf Regional Championships Saturday afternoon, finishing the three-day competition at Warren Golf Club in 10th place.
Harvard began the final day tied for seventh place and one stroke back of Tulane in sixth, with the top six teams advancing to the NCAA Women's Golf Championship. The Crimson could not keep pace on the final day, however, and slipped down the leaderboard.
Harvard's 10th-place result marks its highest-ever placement at the NCAA Regionals, besting last year's 13th-place finish. The Crimson posted a combined score of 899 for the weekend, shooting 298 on Thursday, 296 on Friday and 305 Saturday.
Brenna Nelsen paced the team with a score of 220 (71-74-75) to tie for 14th place in the individual competition. Anne Cheng earned a tie for 21st with a score of 222 (75-73-74), with Courtney Hooton tying for 36th after shooting 226 (77-72-77).
By Brenna Nelsen '15
After winning a historic fourth-straight Ivy League title, the Harvard women's golf team earned the Ancient Eight's automatic bid into the NCAA Regional Championships. The team was placed into the Central Regional, where it would compete alongside 17 other teams vying for six berths to the NCAA finals.
The three-day tournament was held at Notre Dame's Warren Golf Course. The 6,305 yard track tested players on all facets of their games. Long, tight holes required accuracy off the tee, while small, tiered putting surfaces demanded precision in the fairways and on the greens. While the team would surely be tested on the course, it also faced the prospect of taking several final examinations throughout the course of the tournament.
On day one, the Crimson got off to a solid start, carding a 298 total to sit in a tie for seventh place. Brenna Nelsen '15 led the way with a one-under-par 71 in a round that featured four birdies. Anne Cheng '17 used solid putting to put together a one-under-par back nine en route to a 75. Christine Lin '16 matched Cheng's 75 in a round highlighted by a 50-foot putt to make eagle. Classmate Courtney Hooton '16 was solid around the greens en route to a 77, while Tiffany Lim '15 rounded out the scores with a 79. The team was happy with its position after the first day but excited to improve in the coming rounds.
Harvard bested the opening day score by two shots in the second round, carding a 296. Hooton played steady all day, leading the team with an even-par 72. Cheng used a sharp short game to card a 73, while Nelsen continued her strong ball striking en route to a 73. Lin had plenty of good looks thanks to her solid iron game, carding a 77. Lim showed off her solid scrambling around the greens, with many clutch up-and-downs to card a 79.
After the second day, the Crimson found itself again tied for seventh, just one shot out of the top six teams. It was a position it was excited to be in. The team would commit to focusing on their process and staying in the present for the third and final day of competition, excited about the possibility of what was to come.
Unfortunately, Harvard couldn't quite keep the pace on the third and final day. Despite its best efforts and strong commitment to its process focus, the team couldn't quite keep its form, slipping back to 10th place after a 305. Cheng was a model of consistency, hitting 15 greens en route to a 74. Hooton used her sharp short game to stay steady with a 77. Lim used her solid putting to card a 79, while Lin had a strong back-nine comeback after a tough opening stretch. Nelsen had several key up-and-downs to finish with a 75. She would finish just one shot out of a playoff for the third individual qualifier spot to the national championships.
While Harvard had entered the week eyeing a berth to the NCAA Championships, the team was nonetheless proud of its efforts. Its 10th-place showing was the team's top finish at an NCAA Regional, besting last year's 13th-place showing. Similar to the tournament at Silverado in April, Harvard proved it has the ability to compete with the top-ranked teams in the country. 12th-ranked Oklahoma State and 23rd-ranked Pepperdine were among the ranked teams that Harvard bested at the regional. The Crimson's finish will only fuel the team's efforts to continue to progress its game in the summer months and throughout the course of next season.
Thank you to the parents and recent graduate Bonnie Hu '14 for their enthusiastic support on the golf course at this week's tournament! And a huge thank you to all the Friends of Harvard Golf, whose generous support has allowed the team to excel on and off the course this past year.