Despite Jared Nelson’s best efforts, the UConn men’s golf team couldn’t find themselves a podium finish this weekend, placing tied for fifth out of 15 total teams at the Doc Gimmler Invitational at the Bethpage State Park Red Course in Bethpage, N.Y.
The weekend was all about Nelson, as the graduate student placed first out of a pool of 86 golfers. His 63 in the opening round set the tone for the match, a one-day total that nobody else would best in the weekend. After leading the first day, Nelson didn’t relinquish his top-dog status the rest of the match, shooting a 67 and a 65 on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. His weekend total of 195 (15-under par) beat out the next closest competitor, Samir Davidov of George Mason, by three strokes. This was Nelson’s fourth first place finish in his collegiate career and his second at UConn, also sharing a victory of the Bash at the Beach in the spring of 2021. His 20 birdies were the most in the entire tournament and he particularly excelled on the Par 5 holes, shooting a combined 6-under on the weekend for those holes.
Nelson, who had a massive summer showing, has yet to cool down from his hot streak. The golfer won tournaments such as the Hornblower Memorial, the Vermont Amateur Championship and the New England Amateur Championship. After that, Nelson went on to win the U.S. Amateur Qualifying Tournament, advancing him to the U.S. Amateur Championship, making it to the last 64 golfers out of 7,749.
Coming in second place amongst the Huskies was rising star Jimmy Paradise. The junior finished in a tie for 17th place, shooting a 4-under 206, giving him his fourth career top-20 finish. His 67 and 68 on Friday and Sunday were his third and fourth sub-70 rounds at the collegiate level.
One other bright spot for UConn was freshman Colin Spencer, who shined in his Husky debut with a 2-over 212, good for 43rd overall. His 40 total pars on the weekend was tied for the eleventh most out of any golfer. UConn’s current No. 5 golfer definitely turned some heads, and looks to be an integral part of this squad moving forward as they try to win their second Big East Championship in three years.
Also competing for the Huskies was sophomore Trevor Lopez and freshman Connor Goode, each tying for 72nd place with 10-over 220s in their starts to the season. Lopez played for the UConn squad this weekend while Goode played as an individual, notching the first sub-70 round of his college career. Sophomore Vikram Konanki shot a 12-over 222, good for 75th place for the Huskies.
Even with the efforts of Nelson, Connecticut struggled, finishing fifth overall behind Harvard, St. John’s, George Mason and Towson. The Huskies tied with the likes of Lehigh and Columbia with a combined 8-under 832.
UConn is back at it again this weekend, as it is set to compete in the Hartford Hawks Invitational at Bull’s Bridge Golf Club in South Kent, Conn.