Following their last showing in the Sunshine State, the men’s golf team will head out to Scottsdale, Arizona for the Desert Mountain Invitational. This tournament will take place this Saturday and Sunday. The number of teams competing is still unknown but will include UConn, Michigan and DePaul. The Huskies hope to have a better weekend than their last outing, where they struggled, finishing No. 11 out of 19 teams. Connecticut will need to clean up their performance on the par 5’s, as last weekend they struggled. The team averaged 5.13 strokes per par 5, the third-worst mark in the entire tournament. Despite this performance, the golfers have succeeded elsewhere this season, most notably finishing first in Big East match play to kick off the new year.
If the Huskies want to succeed in this tournament, they must lean on their leaders. Take graduate student Jared Nelson, who tied for No. 15 in the Advance Golf Partners Collegiate. Nelson improved upon his score each day in the tournament, shooting three over par. The Huskies will need him to keep up his play if they want success.
Win or lose, this is a tournament this Connecticut team will always remember. The course they are playing at is the Desert Mountain Golf Club, a private country club with seven different 18-hole courses, all overlooking the beautiful mountains. PGA tour legend Jack Nicklaus has even said, “Desert Mountain has been one of the highlights of my career as a golf designer. I believe it will always be recognized as one of the greatest golf clubs in the world.” While it has yet to be announced anywhere, there are two courses the Huskies have the best chance to play. The first one is No. 7, a USGA-rated championship course, a par 54 totaling 3,114 yards. The other course the Huskies could play at is Cochise, a 7,042 yard par 72. This course makes more sense for them to play because it is more lengthy and has played host to The Tradition: the first major on the Senior PGA Tour. The Huskies could play at one of the five other courses as well; information has yet to be released to say one way or another.
The Huskies will be hoping for the same luck Nicklaus had when he won a PGA-best 18 Major Tournaments when they head to Scottsdale for Saturday and Sunday’s competition. After this tournament, UConn will be in Myrtle Beach for the Bash at the Beach.