Penn men's and women's golf concluded their seasons at the Ivy League Championship this weekend, with both teams managing middle of the pack finishes.
The men finished tied with Dartmouth at 35-over-par, and the women finished in fifth in a tightly contested field, just six shots out of the top three with a score of 55-over-par.
For the men, the first day at Hidden Creek Golf Club ended with a 21-over-par 305, but the Red and Blue were scrappy, totaling only 14-over par over the final two days of action, a lower two-day score than eventual Ivy League champion Princeton.
After the front nine on day one, the Quakers were well in contention, just six-over-par on the round, but the course conditions took a turn for the worst when the Red and Blue started the back nine.
“We were in that second wave, unfortunately, and there was a storm blowing in,“ coach Jason Calhoun said. “It was definitely a disadvantage being in that wave, but at the same time it’s nothing we haven’t seen before. … When we got hit with the wind, we were a little tentative."
On days two and three, the Red and Blue came into their own and played more controlled golf. Sophomore Mitchell Cornell finished tied for third in the tournament, enough to earn him first team All-Ivy honors. Penn's seniors also played well, as Zareh Kaloustian finished at eight-over-par along with senior Josh Goldenberg to finish tied for 13th.
The Quakers took advantage of the par 5s, totaling eight-under-par for the weekend, but they played the par 4s in 50-over-par and the par 3s in 18-over-par.
All of the momentum was in the women's favor entering the final day of play on Sunday at The Ridge at Back Brook, but the Quakers struggled, posting a score of 21-over-par and finishing 18 shots off the lead.
The Red and Blue outplayed the competition on day one, posting a 297 to give them an outright lead. Much of this early success was due to freshman Leila Dizon, who carded the second-lowest score of anyone on the course at even-par 72.
On day two, wind gusts circled the course at upwards of 25 miles per hour, and the scoring average was 78.43. Despite having the third-worst round at 313, the Quakers still found themselves well in contention, only three strokes off the lead.
After the wind died down and the rain stopped, Sunday was much more amenable for posting low scores, as four teams scored under 305. Sophomore Rina Jung was able to take advantage of these conditions with the third-best individual score on Sunday at even-par 72, but the rest of her team combined for 21-over-par, finishing 18 strokes behind champion Harvard.
“When you get a day like today that was really, really great scoring conditions, you’ve got to be able to make some birdies out there," coach Mark Anderson said. "It was the best scoring day that we had, and Harvard took advantage of that."
The end result, albeit not what the Quakers were hoping for, was still impressive, as the young squad started three freshmen and was the only team in the Ivy League without a senior in the lineup. For the first time since 2012, the Red and Blue had two All-Ivy honorees, as Jung was named to the first team and freshman Mary Shin was selected for the second team.
Talent is not the issue moving forward to next season and beyond, but Anderson still sees one area of improvement that can get the Red and Blue over the hump and into the winner’s circle.
“When you start doubting yourself and not committing fully to your shot, it’s hard to play good golf,” Anderson said. “I wanted them to all send me their thoughts on the weekend, what they did well and what could have gone better."
With All-Ivy honorees returning next season for both teams, the Quakers seem to have a bright future ahead of them.
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