Amongst a loaded 15-team field full of programs like Central Florida, Mercer and Creighton, the University of Connecticut men’s golf team started out strong, then fell apart in successive days en route to a seventh-place finish at The Carolina Cup in Spartanburg, SC.
The Huskies had a promising first day on the links, with graduate student Jared Nelson leading the pack after a big 8-under-64 to lead all golfers on Sunday. This mark would serve as the best round by any golfer over the three-day event. Collectively, Connecticut found themselves tied for second place overall after Round 1 with a 3-under-285.
The team’s second round was less than impressive. Nelson came back to Earth on Monday, shooting a 9-over-81. With the rest of the top four Huskies maintaining their places within the top 41 golfers, UConn finished Round 2 with a 9-over-297 to slide them down into a tie for sixth place.
Tuesday’s set of 18 was even worse for the Huskies, as the team combined for a 16-over-304 to drop into sole possession of seventh place, with a total of 22-over-886 on the weekend. Nelson bounced back slightly but couldn’t find that dominance from the first day, shooting a 76 to finish 5-over-par on the tournament to place tied for 31st.
Leading Connecticut overall in Spartanburg was junior Tommy Dallahan, who enjoyed a very consistent three outings. His 72-73-70-215 was good for 1-under and 12th overall in the 90-golfer field. UConn’s No. 4 golfer had a solid first day, shooting even, and kept that pace and then some the rest of the tournament.
As consistent as Dallahan was, his teammates didn’t display that same composure at the Carolina Cup. Sophomore Trevor Lopez and junior Jimmy Paradise struggled, tying for 53rd after shooting combined 12-over-228s. Lopez had a strong 73 on the first day, and added three strokes to his game with each day after. Paradise bounced back from a mediocre 76 in Round 1 with a 70 in Round 2, only to shoot a 10-over-82 on Tuesday.
Also competing for UConn was sophomore Eric Boulger, whose 31-over-247 was full of improvement. After shaking off the nerves with a 90 on Sunday, Boulger came back with a 78 and 79 on Monday and Tuesday, respectively.
Playing independently from Connecticut, Husky Connor Goode finished a stroke behind Boulger with a 32-over-248. The freshman struggled to find consistency, improving upon his first-day score of 83 on Monday before shooting an 86 on Tuesday.
Placing first overall as a team was the University of Alabama at Birmingham, whose two top-four finished propelled them to a group finish of 20-under-844. Also doing well was Lipscomb, who had two top-five individuals en route to a 10-under-854.
Besides playing three rounds, UConn and the 14 other participating schools’ golfers received a chance to network with a variety of business leaders, including officials from BMW, Taco Bell, and Callaway Golf.
“This is a distinctly unique college tournament where not only will golfers play in the NCAA Division I scheduled event, but they will also have the opportunity to network with business executives and influencers,” said Tournament Director Robin English. “Networking is a lifelong benefit of golf. While these college athletes will compete for the trophy, another valuable ‘win’ is the ability to meet corporate leaders and start building relationships.”
The Huskies will get a long break before their last competition of the 2022 year, slated to play in the Ka’anapali Classic Collegiate Classic in Lahaina, HI during the last weekend in October. After that, the team will continue their season in the spring.