After a great spring season for the UConn golf team, the chance to keep their season alive comes down to this weekend as they head down to Palm Harbor, Florida for the American Athletic Conference Championship. Last weekend the team was over at Penn State for the Rutherford Intercollegiate Tournament and came in fourth, a good sign for the upcoming meet.
Coach Dave Pezzino said he knows that the season’s fate relies on this weekend but is confident that the team will put on a great performance.
“If we can manage the golf course well, and allow our guys to have fun and just play golf, I think it will be a very positive weekend,” Pezzino said.
It’s safe to say the team will be under a lot of pressure with many of the seniors in their last tournament.
“With our group, the more you try to micromanage college golfers, the more pressure they put on themselves and they can’t just perform,” Pezzino said. “I really like our team one to 12, I really like how they prepare and there’s just a lot of trust with this group.”
Last year, UConn performed poorly at the same tournament, finishing ninth out of 10 schools competing, ending their season early. Since UConn has entered the American Athletic Conference, they have failed to qualify for any of the NCAA regional tournaments. But, with performances like redshirt junior Drake Hull’s last weekend and senior Jimmy Hervol the week before, UConn could have a great opportunity to keep playing into May for the first time.
Hervol and Hull were back to back players of the week and Pezzino said he thinks that energy will carry over.
“We’ve challenged Drake to look at things differently on the golf course,” Pezzino said. “We’re constantly challenging our guys to manage their emotions better, control the controllable.”
The first day of events starts on Sunday and will carry over until Tuesday. If they finish well in the tournament they will head to the NCAA regionals on May 12.
Daniel Dashefsky is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.