The women of Harvard women's golf team (HWG) spent the weekend competing at the Silverado Showdown, graciously hosted by University of Colorado and University of Oregon. The event gets its name from the host -- Silverado Country Club -- which is outlined by the vast vineyards that make Napa so intriguing. The women were grinning ear to ear in escaping the Northeast "spring" for a few days.
The first day was a 36-hole shotgun followed by an 18-hole final round the following day. The tight fairways and vast undulating greens would provide for a challenging tournament. While the women have not been able to get as much outdoor playing time as some of the other teams in the field, they focused on the things they could control, such as keeping their mental games strong and focusing on their individual processes.
A focus on process was something the women knew could help them launch ahead of the field. Although it was HWG's first 36-hole day in three seasons, the team did not let the fatigue affect their games and made great progress throughout the day. Senior Brenna Nelsen '15 adjusted to some swing changes, and was able to pull of an impressive four-over, 76, to start her day. She followed this up with a solid 78 in the afternoon round. Captain Tiffany Lim '15 retained great ball-striking abilities and posted a 79 followed by an improved 75. Christine Lin '16 leaned on her short game and finished the first round with an 80. Lin was able to drain some impressive putts to come back with a 73 in the afternoon. Courtney Hooton '16 shot a 78 with a birdie on her 18th hole. That was the momentum needed to carry her through the next round, scoring a 72. Rounding out the group, Anne Cheng '17 displayed her characteristically steady game. She consistently hit fairways and mastered the tricky greens to shoot a 76 followed by a 74.
On Tuesday the team had another early shotgun start, letting us enjoy the brisk California sunrise while warming up on the range. HWG was excited to finish the trip with 18 holes in perfect weather -- sunny, warm, and blue skies for the day. Tiffany relied on solid chipping and smart course management to card a 77. After a rough start, Christine fought back with a few birdies and great ball striking, coming in with another 77. Courtney impressed again with a flashy 73. Anne's unswerving putting and wedge game gave her a 71 for the day and a T-5 individual finish in a tough field. Last and certainly not least, Brenna's sharp iron game led to hitting 16 greens in regulation and a bogey-free 69, her college tournament low! HWG had a final round of 290 and finished in 4th place in an extremely competitive field.
This progress and success of this tournament reinforced our process focus and gave us some much-needed tournament repetitions. Thanks to the friends of Harvard Golf for making these trips possible. We will continue to sharpen and build our confidence as we head into the end of the spring, and we hope to finish the season strong!