Penn women's golf teed it up this weekend against five of their Ivy League competitors — as well as Rollins College and Navy — in warm and sunny Winter Garden, Fla. for the 54-hole Harvard Invitational.
The Red and Blue finished tied for second with Harvard, while Princeton took the top spot in the team competition.
“I think we were the youngest team out there with three freshmen, a junior, and no seniors,” coach Mark Anderson said. “Of course the freshmen have a lot to learn and everyone can improve, but they played absolutely fantastic this weekend.”
Saturday was all about junior Christina Park, who led the Red and Blue to a strong 11-over-par 299 start in the first round. Park shot a one-under-par 71, tying her for first individually. By the end of the first round, the team was seven shots behind first-place Princeton and five ahead of third-place Harvard.
The Quakers' momentum carried on into the second round, as they got acquainted with the course. Penn would surge to a stronger second-place standing after shooting a one-over-par 289. Every Penn player performed better in this round, and by day's end, the Red and Blue were only one stroke behind Princeton.
Park, who remained tied for first place on the leaderboard with Princeton’s Maya Walton, shot a program record-tying four-under-par 68. Freshman Leila Dizon also joined Park in the top 10 on the leaderboard in sixth place, shooting two-over-par in the first two rounds.
In the third round on Sunday, Penn had a harder time shooting low scores. The back nine was a challenge for the Quakers, and they shot 303, falling even further behind Princeton. Individually, Park tied for second overall with Walton, finishing with a total of three-under-par for the three round event. She was just one stroke behind winner Anabelle Chang from Princeton.
Freshmen Dizon and Mary Shin placed sixth and 14th overall, respectively, in the 48-person tournament. As a team, Penn finished second in the invitational — tying Harvard with a score of 891 — behind Princeton’s 880.
Park is excited about what’s in store for the team moving forward.
“Now that there are only seven of us, we’re spending a lot of time together and are pretty tight-knit,” Park said. “Although last year we didn’t finish that well, I think this year we’re making a lot of improvements.”
This competition served as a glimpse into the future of Penn’s young team, as the Quakers continue to prepare for the Ivy League Championship in three weeks.
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