Deng matched his career-low round with a 67 (Gregory Carroccio).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Harvard men's golf team overpowered the field at The MacDonald Cup this weekend, taking the tournament title with a 12-stroke advantage.
Harvard turned in the two lowest rounds of the tournament, finishing the first round at plus-5 (285) and the second at plus-3 (283). The Crimson's plus-8 (568) total was 12 strokes better than Minnesota (+20, 580) which placed second, while Fairfield (+26, 586), Rutgers (+27, 587) and Dartmouth (+28, 588) rounded out the top five.
The victory is the first of the year for Harvard and its first at The MacDonald Cup. Played at The Course at Yale, the MacDonald Cup covered 6,810 yards with a par of 70.
Five Crimson finished among the top-10 scorers, including four individuals among the top-five. Robert Deng, playing as an individual, finished second at even par (140) one stroke behind Minnesota's Jon DuToit, but did not count towards the team score. Deng finished the first round at plus-3 (73) before carding the lowest round of the weekend at minus-3 (67). The 67 matches his lowest score in a tournament for the Crimson, a feat which he has now achieved four times including at last year's MacDonald's Cup.
Daniel De La Garza (+2, 142) took third with Kendrick Vinar (+3, 143) and Aurian Capart (+3, 143) tying for fourth. De La Garza was also at plus-3 (73) following the opening round but responded with a minus-1 (69) to finish just behind Deng.
Vinar and Capart were both steady, with Vinar shooting 71 (+1) and 72 (+2) while Capart shot 72 (+2) and 71 (+1).
Hale Furey tied for sixth place at plus-4 (144), carding a 73 (+3) in the first round and a 71 (+1) in the second. Seiya Liu (+7, 147) rounded out the Crimson's lineup and tied for 19th place despite shooting a first-round 69 (minus-1), the only first-round score under par.
Harvard will take the next few weeks off before concluding its fall season at the Gifford Collegiate hosted by UCLA Nov. 2-4.
By Seiya Liu '19
Following a sloppy bogey on the 18th, Kendrick Vinar '17 continues his round on the first hole, watching his tee shot sail right, deep into the trees. He finds his ball, nestled among acorns 165 yards from the green. Vinar commits to a low slice and takes a four iron. The ball must stay below overhanging branches and slice more than sixty yards against a strong right-to-left wind. He takes a healthy cut at the ball and sees it screaming low under the branches. The ball peals hard to the right, landing short of the green and rolling past the flagstick. Vinar gapes and high-fives a nearby spectator. "Unreal shot," the Yale hoodie-wearing witness says. Vinar two-putts and escapes with par.
Seiya Liu '19 climbs over the hill hiding the fourth hole's green to see his approach shot sixty feet away from the hole. "Two putts and walk," he thinks to himself. It's all about the speed. Standing over the long, downhill, double-breaking putt, Liu takes a deep breath. He aims a foot right of the cup and gives it a good stroke. The ball is rolling at a good pace and Liu starts walking, expecting a return putt of about three feet. The ball rolls . . . "Wait a second," Liu thinks to himself. He hears a plop. His hands fly up in disbelief—birdie!
Two groups behind Liu, fellow freshman Aurian Capart hits his shot in almost the same spot, sixty feet from the hole. He puts it, watching it turn end over end. "It won't get there," he thinks, "no chance." And then he hears the magical plop Liu heard only moments earlier. It's a birdie!
Adrenaline flowing, sophomore Hale Furey '18 sets up a driver on the 11th tee, a 318-yard par four and his final hole of the day. He crushes a draw into the right greenside bunker, leaving himself a 15-yard uphill bunker shot. Splash! The ball flies out, landing five feet short of the hole and rolls out barely missing the cup. Furey marks his ball, thinking the scores could be close and his putt may be the difference between first and second place. He reads the downhill four-footer. It will move a little to the right, a ball maybe, he says to himself. He putts, willing the ball to enter the cup. Plop. A birdie to end the day.
Thanks to John Ezekowitz '13, Tiffany Lim '15, Vicki Furey, Luis De La Garza, and Fred Schernecker '89 for coming out and cheering us on! We appreciate all the support from coaches, families, and friends of Harvard golf. None of this would be possible without you.