Women's Golf Wins Brown Bear Invitational

Women's Golf Wins Brown Bear Invitational

Tiffany Lim placed first among individuals at the meet (Harvard Athletic Communications).

By Nina Fairbairn '17

This weekend started off with sunny skies and a mild breeze on a warm day and finished with a frigid wind chill and gusting 40 mph winds.  New England golf courses are still thawing out from the long winter.  Weather damage to the originally scheduled host course – Rhode Island Country Club –  led to a last-minute change to the Metacomet Country Club.  The course was designed by Donald J Ross and features typical "Ross greens" that are raised, slope heavily from back to front, have run-offs and penalize those who decide to be above or past the pin. Metacomet adds the additional challenge of maintaining the greens at lightning fast speeds.

The weather during the practice round was beautiful -- arguably the nicest day so far this spring. The change in weather from the practice round to the tournament meant that the course the team had "mapped out" was much different than the one that was played. When the team showed up on Sunday and Monday, the cold and wind were evident immediately.  This unexpected and uncontrollable factor reinforced that focusing on process was essential to playing good golf.

On Sunday, Tiffany Lim '15 led the team with a strong showing of 73. Lim's strong commitment to process and focusing on things within her control allowed her to stay calm and emotionally steady throughout the round.  Anne Cheng '17 and Courtney Hooton '16 both fired 78.  Both focused on making sure they put a good swing on the ball every time, which helped them play well on the course in the tough conditions.  Nina Fairbairn '17 focused on putting a good roll when putting which helped her card three birdies en route to a solid 81.  Christine Lin '16 battled against the tough conditions and had some brilliant up and downs later in the round to shoot 83. In Brenna Nelsen's '15 first tournament in almost a year, she committed to her process which led to a strong 77.  Captain Bonnie Hu '14 sunk some great putts on the fast greens to shoot an 81.

Given the tough conditions and how vastly different it was from the practice round, the team did an excellent job on focusing on process and adjusting their game plans accordingly. At the end of the day, the team was leading the tournament by 11 strokes with 310.

On Monday, the team was greeted with a steady 25 mph wind with gusts of up to 40 mph. Given the course already had firm greens and penalized balls that were above or behind the hole, this round had some of the most difficult conditions the team has played in this year.  Lin lead the team with a fantastic 77 by sinking her share of 12-foot putts and getting many up-and-downs. Lim and Nelsen played steady golf and shot great scores of 79 by focusing on things within their control and just taking each shot, one at a time. Hooton focused on maintaining the feeling of her swing, and struck her way to an 80. She even hit a 60-degree wedge 120 yards (the 40 mph downwind may or may not have helped a bit). Fairbairn and Cheng followed up with some very solid 82s. Fairbairn stayed calm after the wind would fly her ball 20 yards over the green on the front nine, and fought back to shoot 1 ove r on her back nine. Cheng was her happy self and enjoyed being in the moment during each shot. After learning more about the course the day before, Hu managed her game and distance control much better to shoot an 85.  The team persevered to play well in these tough conditions to shoot a team score of 318.

Through commitment to process and focusing on things within our control, each team member was able to play her best given the conditions. Lim won the tournament individually at 152, and Nelsen followed in second place of 156. The team won the tournament by 20 strokes with a total of 628.  The team's mental game was up to the tough conditions.

This is the fourth tournament the team has won this year, and looks forward to carrying this momentum into Ivies in two weeks.   Thank you all so much for your continued support of Harvard Women's Golf!