Amidst a stretch of several successful seasons, the UConn men’s golf team put together yet another formidable performance in 2021-22. Led by junior Caleb Manuel and junior Tommy Dallahan, the team placed in the top 5 10 times in the 12 tournaments that the Huskies participated in over the fall and the spring. The team showed both resilience and consistency all season long and went on to earn a third place finish as a team in the Big East Championship to put the final cherry on top of their most recent campaign.
As the 2022-2023 golf season draws closer, the Huskies will look for some of their younger players to take the next step and become major contributors to a strong tournament team. Manuel, the team’s top player from one season ago, announced over the summer that he would be transferring to the University of Georgia for the fall semester. Subsequently, UConn is left without their star and will hope that they can receive immediate aid from their in-house reinforcements. While we could see sophomores Vikram Konanki and Trevor Lopez take on a more prominent role on this team as they continue to grow as players heading into their second seasons, the Huskies will also give a long look at the three new faces that will be coming to Storrs this fall. Freshman Connor Goode, Christopher Sacher and Colin Spencer will all be making their collegiate debuts for UConn this fall. With the regular season set to get underway this upcoming Saturday, this is your opportunity to get to know the future of UConn golf.
Goode is a product of Glastonbury, Connecticut, where he attended high school. A member of his school’s golf and football teams, Goode served as the golf team’s captain and was a three-time All-Conference and two-time All-State selection as well as an All-New England pick during his high school tenure. His recent accolades include victories in the Connecticut Junior Amateur and Connecticut Junior PGA Championships last summer, followed by the Connecticut Division I State Championship in the fall.
“Living in Connecticut, the opportunity to represent UConn was something I just couldn’t pass up,” Goode noted in a press release. “UConn is a great academic school with a solid business program for my life after college. It has a great campus and community with great sports teams that are fun to watch… Once I met [head] coach [Dave] Pezzino and the guys on the team, I knew it would be a great fit for me. They have created a great culture that I wanted to be a part of.”
Goode won the Connecticut Junior PGA title in early July with a final-round score of 69 at Keney Park Golf Course in Windsor, winning by one stroke. Three weeks later, he defeated defending champion Matt Doyle, 4 and 2, to capture the Connecticut Junior Amateur at Watertown Golf Club, by sinking an eight-foot eagle on the 16th hole. In October, he even-par with a score of 70 at Chippanee Country Club in Bristol to win the Connecticut Division I State Championship individual title by three strokes.
Hailing from Schoeffengrund, Hesse, Germany, Sacher signed a National Letter of Intent with UConn earlier this summer to join the golf team for the 2022-23 season. He attended Goetheschule Wetzlar for high school and has played out of the Frankfurter Golf Club for the past two years playing at the Golf Club Schloss Braunfels as German high schools do not offer golf competition. He was number one in the German Junior Golf Rankings in 2020 and he shot a course record 63 at Erster Golf Club Westpfalz last year.
“The entire athletic atmosphere at UConn, with the sportsmanship and support between teams, inspired me to become a Husky,” Sacher said in a press release. “I chose to commit to UConn because of the high level of education students receive, along with being able to be an athlete for such an immensely competitive school. After having met Coach Pezzino, I knew that I had found the right match for me.”
Playing in many high-level events all around the country, Sacher won the Men’s State Fourball Championship in 2022, the Junior State Team Championship in 2021 with the youth team of the Frankfurter Golf Club and the Men’s State Amateur Championship in 2020.
“I’m very excited to bring a player of Chris’ talent into our program,” coach Pezzino said when asked of Sacher’s arrival. “He has an outstanding international resume and he’s an outstanding student. The more I got to meet with Chris, the more I knew he perfectly fit the profile of the young men we recruit. He will be a great addition to our program.”
Spencer is a Massachusetts native where he attended Mashpee Junior-Senior High School in Mashpee. A Boston Globe All-Scholastic athlete, his stock soared this summer when he captured the Massachusetts Junior Amateur title and followed with another stellar performance in the New England Junior Amateur tournament in August.
“That was a big boost for my confidence,” Spencer said while addressing the press following his Junior Amateur performance. “Then playing well in the first round at the US Junior was cool to see, and then it just kind of all came together at the Mass. Junior and then the New England Junior a couple weeks later…Match play was hard…it was all about staying focused and ready to go,” Spencer recounted.
Spencer has been noted for having a very strong mental game on top of his physical abilities. “Everybody hits bad shots — it’s going to happen,” Spencer’s father has told the media when reflecting on his son’s capabilities. “Some people don’t have the ability to get past that. He does. He’s only 18, but he’s much wiser and more mature than that — he just is. That’s who he is.”
Spencer has also been credited for adapting a complex workout regime. He enjoys hitting the course and practices hitting balls into a net, but he’s also learned to include stretching, various forms of strength and conditioning or meditating into his workouts.