Harvard Women's Golf Places Second at Harvard Invitational

Brenna Nelsen finished eighth overall (Harvard Athletic Communications).

By Coach Kevin Rhoads

The Harvard Women hosted the second annual Harvard Invitational for their final fall event of the 2011-2012 season. Thanks to Director of Golf Fred Schernecker's help, the team was excited to have the opportunity to bring the other Ivy schools to Boston Golf Club, a fantastic club in Hingham, MA, approximately 30 minutes south of Boston. BGC's Gil Hanse-designed golf course is one of the best in New England, and is reminiscent of Pine Valley in its style, feel, and aesthetics.   Though the course is less than 10 years old, it looks classic and natural, and also has some dramatic vistas, fairways, and greens. 
In the days before the first round, the rains that have steadily fallen in the Northeast this fall continued. Thus, the layout of 6008 yards played considerably longer. Making things more difficult, winds consistently blew 20-30 mph on Saturday. Scores were high and birdies were hard to come by, evidenced by the field's scoring average of 82.44 – well above the average of tournaments this fall. 
Paced by sophomore Bonnie Hu '14 (Freemont, CA) and freshman Tiffany Lim '15 (San Jose, CA), the Crimson were able to put together a field-leading first round. Hu and Lim both shot 75's – Hu making 3 birdies to offset 3 double-bogeys despite good ball striking, and Lim with a solid short game. Freshmen Brenna Nelsen '15 (Monte Serreno, CA) also had a standout first round, putting together a solid 77. Those three put up 3 of the 11 scores in the 70's on round one. Seniors Jane Lee '12 (Alamo, CA) and Christine Cho '12 (La Crescenta, CA)contributed 84 and 86 respectively to round out the Crimson's counting scores. 
Day 2 promised better weather in the forecast, and the team was looking to add to their lead.   However, day two was not as expected neither in weather nor in scoring.   The forecast called for calm, sunny skies with temperatures in the 50's and low 60's. The temperature was correct, but the winds ended up swirly and often stronger than day 1. Adding to that, the greens got firmer and much faster. As a result, the scores soared even higher in round 2. The course pushed the field to an average score of 84.64!  There were two 10's and a 12 posted by players in the field. Although none came from a Harvard player, the Crimson did not escape the high scoring.
Hu edged Lim in shooting 80 and 81 respectively to lead the Crimson, and those two
eventually finished 2nd and 3rd individually overall. Hu had escaped without any double
bogeys until the last hole, but the par 3 18th – at only 145 yards - was uphill, into the wind, and had a particularly tricky pin position. On average the field took 3.74 yards to negotiate that hole in round two. Though Lim lead the field with 24 pars over the two days, she couldn't quite get her birdie putts to drop, and a few extra bogies added up to her 81.   Nelsen had a tough stretch in the middle of her round, but played well down the stretch to card 83. And Lee had a very good front 9, but couldn't finish off her back 9, and shot 87. Captain Christine Cho and Julie MacDonell '14 (Say! ville, NY), playing as an individual, both shot 88.
On a day where almost everyone shot high, Penn was able to come up with the low round of the day with 319 – 12 shots better than Harvard. The Crimson had a two-day total of 642, which put them in a tie for second with Columbia, only 5 strokes behind Penn. While the final round led to a second-place finish and denied the Crimson their third win in four fall tournaments, the fall season was still a success. They finished 1st, 1st, t9th, and t2nd during the fall campaign, and had a winning record against every other Ivy team except Penn. Against Penn they had a 1-1 record, but had a +14 stroke differential advantage. 
Although the Crimson women are finished with their fall tournament schedule, they will use their last round as fuel to work hard in the coming months as they head into their offseason.   They won't compete again as a team until March, but will be using the down-time from competition to work through things that cannot be tackled during the competitive season. They now have time to work on any tweaks in their technique, and will be doing offseason conditioning using TPI-designed workouts. The team thanks you for all of your support during this fall season, and looks forward to a successful spring season. Happy Holidays!!

1 Pennsylvania, Univ       318 319    637       +61
2 Harvard University       311 331    642       +66
   Columbia University     321 321    642       +66
4 Princeton University    319 336    655       +79
5 Yale University             322 334    656       +80
6 Brown University          326 332    658       +82
7 Dartmouth College       328 334    662       +86

 Fin Name                  School      Scores
   2 Bonnie Hu                 Harvard      75   80    155 +11
   3 Tiffany Lim                Harvard      75   81    156 +12
  8  Brenna Nelsen         Harvard      77   83    160 +16
24  Jane Lee                   Harvard      84   87    171 +27
29 Christine Cho           Harvard      86   88    174 +30
36 Julie MacDonnell     Harvard      93   88    181 +37