It was perfect weather for golf in Pawleys Island, South Carolina, where the UConn men’s golf team competed in the Golfweek/AGT Intercollegiate. This tournament lasted from this past Monday to Wednesday at the True Blue Golf Club. The men had a strong showing, finishing two under par, good enough to tie for second place with Delaware. Another positive from this tournament is that Connecticut edged out Big East rival Xavier by four strokes. Over three days, the Huskies shot 293 (+5), 284 (-4) and 285 (-3).
The real story of the tournament came from Troy University. The Trojans lit up the course, shooting 24 under par. Despite the blowout win, it wasn’t always a sure thing. After day one, the Trojans were two strokes behind Delaware and Valparaiso, with Connecticut lurking behind by six strokes. After this, however, it was all Troy, shooting at least 10 strokes below the next closest team each day, and they got it done on the par 4’s, hitting the tournament best -6.
A high point for UConn came from graduate student Jared Nelson, who was crowned tournament champion. Nelson shot nine under par, one stroke better than Troy’s Jake Springer. Because of the grad student’s highlight-filled performance, he was named this week’s Big East Player of the Week.
One way UConn can improve for next time, and what held them back this time, is their first-round performance. Connecticut got off to a lackluster start, shooting five over par. It’s amazing that the golf team made up the ground that they did, and they should be proud of that because making up significant strokes like that is no small feat. One reason for this was UConn’s ability to score birdies — they led the tournament with 59 birdies.
One place UConn struggled was on par fives. They shot even for the weekend; however, eight teams shot under par, including Troy, who led the pack, shooting 17 under. Individually the Huskies were middle of the pack, but because Nelson shot nine under, this propelled them to second place. UConn had three players finish in the top 30 of a pool of 96. Jimmy Paradise shot one under, which was tied for 16th overall in the tournament. Following him was Vikram Konanki, who tied for 27th place on a two-over par performance.
Connecticut has had an excellent season thus far. Their highlights include a first-place finish in Big East matchplay and a close second-place finish at the Bash at the Beach. The team will wrap up at Penn State for the Rutherford tournament, which will be from April 15-16. The Big East Championship play will take place from April 28-30. It will be must-watch golf and will take place at the Riverton Pointe Golf and Country Club, nearly 160 miles away from where UConn competed this past weekend. A tournament on the minds of many UConn golf fans is the Big East Championship, which the Huskies have a good chance of winning. After all, the Huskies just beat Xavier and finished first in Big East matchplay earlier in the season.
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