Men’s Golf: Huskies headed back to GreatHorse for UConn Invitational  

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On the heels of last week’s Hartford Hawks Invitational, the UConn men’s golf team will host the UConn Invitational next week at GreatHorse in Hampden, Massachusetts. Seton Hall, Iona, Long Island, Hartford and Bryant will be among the colleges in attendance for the Oct. 2-4 tournament.  

The Huskies placed fifth out of 15 teams two weeks ago at the Doc Gimmler Invitational, their first tournament of the season. The team improved the following week at the Hartford Hawks Invitational placing third out of 16 teams, aided by grad student Jared Nelson’s second place finish individually. The team looks to take the podium again next week in Hampden, Massachusetts.  

Although it has not been confirmed who will be representing the Huskies next week, the recent performances from Nelson make him a likely choice.  

Nelson, a consistent leader for the Huskies, was named Big East Golfer of the Week for the second week in a row and fourth time in his collegiate career last week. Nelson has 22 career rounds under 70 and will look to add to that total at the UConn Invitational next week.  

Nelson has been instrumental to the team’s success both on and off the course. “It’s such a huge advantage to have someone with that level of maturity and mental toughness,” stated coach Dave Pezzino. Pezzino also praised Nelson for mentoring the “young pups” as they adjust to a college level of play.  

One “pup” Pezzino referred to was freshman Collin Spencer. Spencer has already made an imprint on the Huskies’ roster. “He is a lot more knowledgeable about golf, more than his age reflects,” stated Pezzino. The Massachusetts native had a career best last week, finishing one-over at the Hartford Hawks Invitational. Spencer started at the No. 3 spot last week, down from No. 5 during the season opener, and it is probable the freshman’s name will continue to appear on the starting chart for the Huskies. If selected, Spencer will attempt another career best, returning to his home state for next week’s tournament.  

UConn junior Jimmy Paradise has also been an asset to the Huskies this season. Paradise placed 12th out of 95 golfers who competed at the Hartford Hawks Invitational, finishing one-under. This is Paradise’s fifth time placing in the top 20. Paradise will look to place in the top 20 once more, or chip his way into the top 10 for the second time in his career next week at GreatHorse.  

The UConn golf team will have been without competition for a week and a half between the Hartford Hawks Invitational and the UConn Invitational, nevertheless, Pezzino is confident the team will be ready to go for the Sunday tee off. “We took a look at their stats, found out what they needed to work on, and they really put it in the work this past week,” said Pezzino.  

The Huskies are very familiar with the GreatHorse course, playing there every fall since 2018, with an exception of Fall 2020 due to COVID-19. “It has been a great opportunity to host it at a course where we can go 18 holes a day. GreatHorse has been very supportive of the UConn golf program over the years,” stated the coach. Pezzino also added the UConn Invitational will be live streamed this year for those who cannot attend, another “great feature” to playing at GreatHorse.  

With only two tournaments under their belt, the Huskies are hungry for a spot on the podium next week as they stay on course to claiming the Big East title.   

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