Xie Leads Women's Golf to Fourth-Place Finish at Diane Thomason Invite

Xie Leads Women's Golf to Fourth-Place Finish at Diane Thomason Invite

Xie finished in second place with a final score of 222 (Joe Raymond).

IOWA CITY, IOWA – The Harvard women's golf team placed fourth at the Diane Thomason Invitational played at the Finkbine Golf Course to open its 2015-16 season.

Harvard finished the weekend at plus-44 (908). The Crimson began the tournament at plus-17 (305) before posting a plus-7 (295) in its second round. The team closed the tournament with a final round at plus-20 (308).

Freshman Michelle Xie stood out in her collegiate debut, tying for second place with a total score of 222 (+6). Xie's weekend included consecutive rounds at one over par (73) to begin her career, and a final-round 76 on Sunday.

Lita Guo tied for 13th at plus-12 (228), sandwiching a one-over par 73 between a 79 (+7) on Saturday and 76 (+4) on Sunday. Christine Lin finished at plus-14 (230) for 20th place, registering scores of 76 (+4), 75 (+3) and 79 (+7).

Anna Zhou also made her debut over the weekend (+18, 234) and registered a pair of 77's (+5) to open and close the tournament. Anne Cheng rounded out the Crimson lineup and returned from a disqualification in the first round to shoot plus-11 over the final 36 holes.

Iowa won the team competition at plus-24 (888) with Rutgers (+42, 906) and Delaware (+43, 907) finishing just ahead of the Crimson. Also competing at the tournament was South Dakota State (+57, 921), Wichita State (+59, 923), North Florida (+59, 923), Missouri State (+60, 924), Northern Illinois (+70, 934), Bradley (+80, 944), Boston University (+84, 948) and Bowling Green (+89, 953).

Played at the Finkbine Golf Course, the Diane Thomason Invitational covered 6,158 yards and featured a slope of 134 with a par of 72.

Harvard will have a three-week layoff before returning to action Oct. 3-4 at the Princeton Invitational to be played at Springdale Golf Club.

By Anne Cheng

After a summer of internships, studying, and travel abroad, the Harvard women's golf team competed in its first event of the year at the Diane Thomason Invitational. Held in the gorgeous town of Iowa City, Iowa, the golf course boasted pristine fairways, voluptuous roughs, and undulating greens. The beauty of the Finkbine Golf Course was further highlighted by the perfect weather at Iowa City.

The first day began with an early morning shotgun and finished at the end of 36 holes. Freshman Michelle Xie '19 led the Crimson with a one over par 73 after the first round. She had solid shots into the greens and displayed a reliable short game to attack the pins. Michelle was able to give herself a tap-in birdie putt from a fifty yard shot.

Senior team captain Christine Lin '16 had a solid first round score of 76. Despite the sloping and tricky greens of Finkbine Golf Course, Christine triumphed over the challenge and confidently sank her putts, giving herself three birdies and multiple par saves.

Freshman Anna Zhou '19 ended the round with a five over par 77. Anna focused intensely on her own game and fully committed to every shot. She maintained a sturdy mental game throughout the day, fiercely conquering any obstacle she encountered.

Following Anna is Lita Guo '18 with a decent score of 79. Lita striped her drives down the middle of the fairways, sank her short putts, and had an enjoyable time with her group. Though she had a few mishaps on the course, Lita closed the first round with a positive outlook and a strong determination to gain redemption in the second round of the tournament.

In the second round of the tournament, the Harvard women's golf team persevered through sore feet and worn out hands and continued to outperform expectations. The team scored a total of seven-over-par, which was the lowest team score for the second round. Michelle continued to finish her second round of 18 holes with another consistent score of 73, placing herself tied for individual second place by the end of the day. Lita bounced back and contributed a great score of 73 by staying committed to her shots and using her recently gained knowledge of the course to her advantage. Christine also remained consistent with a 75. She used the prowess of her chipping game to save pars. Anna posted an 80 and persevered through the long day. Anne Cheng '17 managed to post a 74 by sinking three birdie putts in a row near the end of her round. The team placed themselves into a favorable position going into the third round just two shots out of the lead.

Michelle and Lita both carded a solid 76. Michelle once again experienced a consistent flow to her game. On the other hand, Lita boasted a process-focused mindset to a somewhat turbulent round of golf. Anna made clutch pars and experienced much-improved course management to end with a 77. Christine striped the fairways all day to finish the tournament with a 79. Anne encountered unlucky lies and situations throughout the round and carded an 81.

At the end of the third day, the Harvard women's golf team finished at fourth place, a few strokes behind the winning team. The Diane Thomason Invitational was a great kickoff to the the Crimson's season. They used this weekend to receive feedback on their games and sharpen their competitive skills.

We are extremely grateful for this opportunity to compete with talented teams from all across the country. We would like to give a special thanks to The Friends of Harvard Golf, who make competitions like this possible. Thank you!!!