Posted: Sep 17, 2013
Rohan Ramnath and the Crimson opened the fall with a second-place showing at the Doc Gimmler Invitational (Harvard Athletic Communications).
By Akash Mirchandani '15
The Harvard Crimson left campus hours before sunrise on Friday Sept. 13 in order to reach Bethpage State Park for their practice round. Pleased with their mental and physical preparation in the weeks leading up to the event, the team was eager to get the season started.
The Red Course at Bethpage State Park in Long Island, New York was the stage for this year's Doc Gimmler Championship. In the practice round, the team discussed strategies and sight lines for the many tight dogleg par 4s on the course. An A.W. Tillinghast design, the Red Course measured nearly 7000 yards to a par 70. Despite the length, the greens were smooth and receptive—a sign of good scores to come. The practice round was successful, as the team worked with Coach Kevin Rhoads and Assistant Coach Daniel Joseph to feel confident about the state of their games and the process they were using on the golf course. After grabbing a quick dinner, the team crashed in the hotel after a long day of travel and golf.
The Crimson woke up Saturday morning with a positive outlook for the 36 holes of golf that awaited them. Sunny weather in the mid 60s, combined with windy conditions greeted the golfers. Freshman Robert Deng '17 and Kendrick Vinar '17 set the tone in their college debuts, each finishing the day at 5-under 135. Each player did a great job of managing their games and the emotions of their first college tournament. As a product of this focused effort, they each had one round of 67, tying the Crimson's all-time low 18-hole round record. Their 5-under scores for 36 holes set a new mark for the Crimson. Rohan Ramnath '16 came in with a solid 141, while Akash Mirchandani '15 and Daniel De La Garza '17 finished at 144 and 146, respectively. Finishing the round in darkness, the Crimson ended up in second place after day one—with a team total of 6 under par. The first round set a new team record for lowest one-round score by four strokes and the 36-hole total beat the previous Harvard mark by 15 strokes. Looking to mount a Sunday charge, the team grabbed a hearty meal and returned to the hotel for some much needed rest and recovery.
On Sunday morning, warmer weather and firmer fairways made the course ripe for scoring. With a game plan of doing their part and seeing how the scores tallied up at the end of the day, the team was ready to go for the final 18 of the Doc Gimmler. Many of the team members started the day strong, with multiple players under par in the first part of their round. However, some struggles coming in and increased winds left the Crimson a little short. Mirchandani and Ramnath finished with 70s, while Deng and Vinar finished with 71s and together established Harvard's low 54-hole individual scoring record at 4-under par (one stroke lower than Greg Shuman 2010). De La Garza rounded out the final day with a 72. This solid play left the Crimson in second place with a team total of 4 under par for the three rounds. In the process, the tea m bested the all-time 54-hole team record by a staggering 20 shots.
The Crimson were proud of the individual performances and the team record they shattered. They were even more pleased with the way they handled themselves this weekend. Throughout the tournament they matched their actions on the course with their intentions. The team is confident this work will continue to pay dividends over the course of the season. The Crimson hope to build on the successes of this week as they travel to Chicago next week to play Northwestern's Windon Memorial tournament at the Knollwood Club.