Following a disappointing 15th-place finish at the Desert Mountain Collegiate a couple of weeks ago, the UConn men’s golf team was in need of a bounce-back outing as they competed in the Bash at the Beach at Myrtle Beach, SC on March 13.
The 18-team invitational was hosted by The Surf and Golf Beach Club. A beautiful, par-72 course that was freshly renovated in 2016 and is one of the most scenic venues in the country. The Huskies were joined by 17 other schools including Oral Roberts, Appalachian State and URI to round out the field of 18.
Connecticut was led by impressive outings from graduate student Jared Nelson and junior standout Jimmy Paradise. Both players were among the best in the entire 108-player field, as Nelson and Paradise both recorded top-10 finishes; Nelson came in second place and Paradise finished tied for sixth place. As a team, the Huskies finished in second place, which is their highest placement of the season in a stroke-play event.
Nelson, a native of Rutland, VT, shot a seven-under (68-71-67=206) and finished just one stroke behind Caden Weber of Utah Valley State who finished in first place across the invitational. This was the fourth time this season that Nelson recorded a top-two finish, marking top-10 placement number 17 across his impressive collegiate career.
Paradise, from Tampa, FL, broke through with his best performance of the season for the Huskies shooting a four-under (69-71-69=209). This was the first top-10 finish of the season for the talented junior and the third time in his collegiate career.
Trevor Lopez, Tommy Dallahan and Eric Boulger rounded out the rest of head coach Dave Pezzino’s top five and contributed solid performances of their own for the second-place finish Huskies. Lopez recorded a 25th-place finish, shooting a three-over (70-74-72=216). Dallahan wasn’t far behind, coming in 31st place with a five-over (72-72-74=218), and coming in 63rd was Boulger with a 12-over (73-76-76=225).
The first-year pair, Colin Spencer and Connor Goode, played as individuals in the invitational along with sophomore Vikram Kinaki. Spencer finished with a 12-over while Goode shot a 17-over and Kinaki a 22-over.
The second-place finish was just what Connecticut needed after a couple of recent rough outings. The Huskies will look to keep things rolling when they return to South Carolina on March 27 for the Golfweek/Any Given Tuesday Intercollegiate at the True Blue Golf Club at Pawley’s Island, SC