Harvard Men's Golf Comes Home from Ivy Championships with Fourth Place

Harvard Men's Golf Comes Home from Ivy Championships with Fourth Place

Akash Mirchandani and Tony Grillo finished tied for seventh (Harvard Athletic Communications).

By Seiji Liu '14
            This week, the Harvard Men's Golf Team headed to Galloway National Golf Club in Absecon, New Jersey to play at the season-ending Ivy League Championship. Galloway National is a 7,111 yard par 71 behemoth designed by Tom Fazio that borders Atlantic City.
 It is a dramatic course that features contour changes, pine forests, sand, water and narrow holes with extremely penalizing and undulating green complexes.  It is ranked 24th on Golf Digests' Top 100 Modern Courses list.  The course was the hardest the Crimson played all year and was a fair test to ensure that the best team would emerge victorious.  This year's teams were some of the strongest in Ivy League history and are a testament to how competitive the conference has gotten in recent years. 

On Wednesday morning, the Crimson Men left campus earlier than anticipated as they made a pit stop in Purchase, New York.  Senior standout players Captain Tony Grillo '12 and Mark Pollak '12 both left some important items at Century Country Club from the week before and the Crimson took advantage of the early trip by honing their short games and shot shaping abilities on the wonderful facilities that Purchase Country Club had to offer.   Many thanks to Tom Kearns for hosting the team at Purchase. Afterwards, they made their way to their hotel at Seaview Resort for some much needed rest.

            Thursday morning arrived with constant rain showers as the Crimson played a practice round at the difficult Galloway National Golf Club.  They formed strategies of where to place their tee shots and how to navigate the sometimes roller coaster-like greens. That night, all the Men's and Women's golf teams of the Ivy League gathered at the hotel for the traditional Ivy League Opening Banquet to find out their pairings for the next day.  The Crimson drew historic rivals Yale as their playing partners in what was sure to be an exciting matchup.
            On Friday morning, the Crimson enjoyed a fantastic and nutritious breakfast buffet at the hotel before heading to the course. Once they arrived, they were greeted with temperatures in the high 40s and 30 mph winds that gusted relentlessly.  Scores skyrocketed across the board for all players as the wind made an already difficult track even harder. Average scores were well above 80. Freshman Akash Mirchandani '15 led the way for the Crimson with a 77 followed by Tony Grillo '12 with a 79.  Mark Pollak '12 and Seiji Liu '14 struggled with their putters in the howling winds and came in with rounds of 80 and 81, respectively.  Theo Lederhausen '14 stumbled into the clubhouse with an 83.  Their 317 total put them in 3rd place, 7 strokes back of Dartmouth heading into the next day.
On Saturday, the Crimson golfers were paired with Penn and experienced winds in the 15 mph range.  Scores were slightly lower, as balls were no longer moving on the greens from the wind.  Akash Mirchandani '15 once again led the team with a stellar 72 that put him in a tie for second heading into the final round. Tony Grillo '12 came in with a 75 and Seiji Liu'14 had a round of 77.  Mark Pollak '12 and Theo Lederhausen '14 rounded out the team with rounds of 79 and 78, respectively.  The much-improved round of 302 left the Crimson in 3rd place, 15 shots back of Dartmouth going into the final round. The Crimson were optimistic about making a comeback to challenge for the title.
On Sunday morning, the weather was perfect with temperatures in the high 50s and slight winds around 10 to 15 mph. Throughout the round, there was flip-flopping on the leaderboard between the top 4 teams – Dartmouth, Penn, Harvard and Columbia.  
Lederhausen '14 led the charge and fired a 72. Tony Grillo '12 came in with a well-fought 76. Seiji Liu '14 and Mark Pollak '12 collapsed as the winds increased late in the round and brought in rounds of 78 and 77, respectively.  Akash Mirchandani '15 rounded out the scores with an 81 after a poor start to his round. In a heartbreaking finish, the Crimson finished in 4th place, only 5 shots out of the playoff for the Ivy League title between Dartmouth and Penn.
The team would like to thank Captain Tony Grillo '12, Mark Pollak '12 and Connor Wentzell '12 (who notably made the 6-hour drive to watch the Championship) for their tremendous contributions to the Harvard Men's Golf Program over the last 4 years. We wish them the best of luck in their future endeavors.  
After a couple of strong finishes at the end of the season that fell just short, the Crimson are looking forward to next season.

2012 Ivy League Player of the Year
Peter Williamson, Dartmouth, Sr. (Hanover, N.H.)#
# - Unanimous

2012 Ivy League Rookie of the Year
Will Davenport, Yale, Fr. (Palm City, Fla.)

Final Team Scores

1. Penn (318-302-297--917)*
1. Dartmouth (310-294-313 -- 917)
3. Columbia (312-296-312--920)
4. Harvard (317-302-303--922)
5. Princeton (321-300-309--930)
6. Yale (329-315-296--940)
7. Cornell (329-311-321--961)
8. Brown (337-329-308--974)
* - Defeated Dartmouth on third playoff hole to win Ivy Championship.

1. Peter Williamson, Dartmouth (73-69-71--213)*
2. Michael Yiu, Columbia (76-73-72--221)*
3. Sam Bernstein, Yale (78-77-69--224)*
4. P.J. Fielding, Penn (83-72-70--225)*
5. Scott Williams, Penn (73-76-77--226)*
6. Evan Harmeling, Princeton (80-75-74--229)^
t7. Charlie Edler, Dartmouth (81-72-77--230)^
t7. Tony Grillo, Harvard (79-75-76--230)^
t7. Akash Mirchandani, Harvard (77-72-81--230)^
10. Greg Jarmas, Princeton (77-75-79--231)^

*-First-Team All-Ivy
^-Second-Team All-Ivy