Ramnath and Vinar fired team-low rounds of 71 (Kendrick Vinar).
By Rohan Ramnath '16
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - The Harvard men's golf team opened its much-anticipated fall season at the Wolverine Intercollegiate hosted by the University of Michigan. Facing a strong field of teams from across the country, the men focused on controllable factors to build upon their progress in internalizing a focus on process from the previous year. The Crimson finished tied for eighth place out of eleven teams after firing rounds of 298-295-289 for a total of 882.
The team departed on Thursday evening sporting their throwback knit ties on the plane journey to Michigan. The ties were discovered by the Harvard Varsity Club and are the same ties worn by team members in the mid 1900's.
Fresh off of "shopping week" for class selection, the team was excited to begin the competitive season.
The practice facility at Michigan was in pristine condition and provided an excellent venue for the Crimson to work on accuracy and distance control. The course at Michigan, designed by renowned architect Alister MacKenzie (Augusta National and Cypress Point), featured a beautiful blend of challenging greens, penalizing rough, and birdie opportunities. Coaches Kevin Rhoads and Curtis Rhoads imparted knowledge and advice, and the practice round proved to be an enriching experience as the men ended the day feeling prepared for the tournament.
The team began began its 36-hole day with partners from Eastern Michigan and Wisconsin. Tricky pin positions placed a premium on distance control. The Crimson was led in the morning by senior captain Akash Mirchandani '15 who fired 73. He was closely followed by junior Rohan Ramnath '16 and sophomore Daniel De La Garza '17 with rounds of 74 and 75, respectively. The highlight of the morning belonged to sophomore Kendrick Vinar '17 whose round of 76 included an eagle on the second hole when he holed out a nine iron from 150 yards. The team was rounded out by Un Cho '16 with a round of 79.
Few team members had the opportunity to play extensive tournament golf this summer so 36 holes in a day presented the team with an opportunity to test their endurance, both mentally and physically. Ramnath continued to drive the ball well and turned in a round of even par 71. Vinar improved upon his first round with a 73 and De La Garza continued his steady ball striking with another 75. Cho and Mirchandani finished with rounds of 76 and 77, respectively. The Crimson closed the day encouraged by their progress and further committed to their controllable inputs.
The final round featured the best results for the men and confirmed their commitment and belief in their games. Vinar continued his strong wedge play to lead the team with a 71, and Cho rebounded in strong fashion to post a one-over par 72. De La Garza and Mirchandani followed with rounds of 73 apiece and Ramnath closed with a 74.
As a whole, the weekend was a success. The Crimson maintained composure and handled itself well on a challenging course and in a strong field. The men returned to campus invigorated and ready for the next weekend of competition.
The team members would like to thank the University of Michigan for the invitation to play in its tournament and hope to return next year. They would also like to thank coaches Kevin and Curtis Rhoads and Director Fred Schernecker for their continued belief and support and also the Friends of Harvard Golf for enabling this amazing experience.