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Senior Mark Hagani competes at the Cornell and Temple Invitational on Sept. 18, 2022. Credit: Anna Vazhaeparambil

Both Penn’s men and women’s golf teams have had fluctuating success throughout the 2022-23 season. The women’s team finished at the front of 19 teams competing in the Kingsmill Intercollegiate Tournament, yet in their final invitational before the Ivy League Championships, the Quakers took the sixth spot — falling behind the other three Ivy League teams that competed. 

On the men’s side, the spring season started with a tenth-place finish at Golden Horseshoe Intercollegiate. However, the Quakers reached the pinnacle of their season when they tied for second with Cornell at the Roar-EE Invitational last weekend. 

This trend of fluctuations continued, as the men’s team came in at fifth at the Ivy League Championships over the weekend, while the women’s team picked up a spectacular first-place finish.

The first round of the women’s Ivy League Championships — which took place on the first of three days at Century Country Club in Purchase, N.Y. — was a win for the Red and Blue. Their 296 turned out to be the lowest score of any round throughout the competition, and is also the second-best score at this event in program history. The team completed the round in first place, one stroke ahead of Princeton. Two Quakers placed in the top five of the leaderboard: Senior Susan Xiao tied for second and freshman Bridget O’Keefe tied for fourth. 

The second round followed a similar pattern as Penn retained its top spot, this time with one fewer stroke than Harvard over the tournament. O’Keefe upped her already high level of play, having the lowest score of the day and jumping up two spots on the leaderboard — only one stroke out of first place. Sophomore Natalie Cao also rose two places to sit in fourth place with Princeton’s Catherine Rao. The team was 27 strokes over par going into the final round on Sunday. 

The momentum of the first two days carried into the last day. The Quakers' score totaled at 906, four strokes fewer than second-place Harvard. Not only did the Red and Blue take home the championship title, but all five players placed in the top 10 overall, with O’Keefe finishing the highest in third. Penn also held the top spot for par 3s and birdies throughout the competition. 

But from the first round, Penn's men's team did not see as much luck as their women counterparts. The team ended the day 24 shots over par — in the back of the pack. Sophomores George Roessler and John Richardson each had 13 pars for this round, more than any other players, but they tied for 10th and 12th, respectively. Roessler and Richardson would go on to lead the tournament in pars, with 39 and 35 each. 

Saturday saw a much better performance, as the men's team improved by a collective 14 strokes, and completed the course with a tournament total of 34 strokes over par. This progress allowed the Red and Blue to overtake Cornell for sixth place. Roessler was also able to ascend the individual leaderboard by a couple places, moving into a tie for eighth. Heading into Sunday’s matches, the Quakers were only two strokes behind Harvard and six behind Yale, leaving room for the team to move up the ranks. 

That is exactly what they did. With some of the lowest scores of the tournament for the Quakers, senior Mark Haghani and Richardson each posted a 73 — Haghani’s second of the competition. These outings helped Penn surpass Harvard into the fifth spot, with two strokes to spare. Both Haghani and Richardson propelled up five spots, settling together in 10th. 

The two teams left the Championships with many things to be proud of, and closed out the spring season with much to look forward to in the coming fall.