After finishing in 10th place at the Carolina Cup in Spartanburg, South Carolina, the Huskies’ final fall tournament is in Maui, Hawaii. In preparation, Connecticut flew out west on Monday for the Ka’anapali College Invitational in the Royal Ka’anapali Golf Course from Oct. 26 through Oct. 28.
Head coach Dave Pezzino announced that Tommy Dallahan, Ray Dennehy, Alex Heard, Connor Goode, Bradley Sawka and Colin Spencer would each be competing as an individual.
Air Force, Boise State, Colorado, CSUN, Denver, East Tennessee State, Georgia, Gonzaga, Hawai’i, Liberty, Louisiana, Mount St. Mary’s, North Florida, Sacramento State, San José State and Wyoming will be UConn’s competitors through the tournament. Defending champions Oklahoma, 2021 champions Kansas and 2016 winners Clemson are also part of the tournament.
The three-day, 54-hole tournament starts each day with an 8:30 a.m. shotgun start. The par-71, 6,700-yard Royal Ka’anapali Course, built in 1962, provides the players at the tournament with a picturesque tropical backdrop.
In last year’s Ka’anapali Classic Collegiate Invitational, Dallahan shot -5 (66) and -1 (70). Dallahan finished in a tie for 22nd place in the 123-player field.
Dallahan’s total aggregate was 208 (66, 72, 70) and helped UConn to a tie for 13th place with Cal State-Northridge in the 20-team field. The Huskies’ team aggregate was +3 (288, 285, 282= 855). Trevor Lopez shot +10 (78, 71, 74) with a total aggregate of 223, tied for 104th place. Spencer shot +17 (79, 76, 79) with a total aggregate of 230, tied for 118th place. Junior Vikram Konanki, who played as an individual, shot +21 (79, 76, 79) with a total aggregate of 234.
The weather for the golfers will be sunny with average temperatures hovering around 85 degrees. Overlooking the west Maui Mountain foothills, the Huskies will end their rounds with the hardest hole on the entire course. The 18th hole is a par -4 449 yard that PGA legend Arnold Palmer labeled “one of the best and most challenging holes he’d ever played.” It’s also one of the most memorable holes for golfers, with long brackish canals on the entire length of the fairway and green.
The Huskies aim to build off their late strong round play at the Knoxville Collegiate, the UConn Invitational and the BMW Intercollegiate. They also look to build on Dallahan’s 13 birdies at Spartanburg, Goode’s first-place finish at GreatHorse, and Dennehy’s low average round scores of 74.6 with a top-10 finish under his belt.
The Ka’anapali College Invitational is a great opportunity for younger players like Heard and Spencer to end their fall season with lower individual scores.
When the Huskies return from Hawaii, the next tournament is on Feb. 5 at the Big East Match Play at Bear Lakes Country Club in West Palm Beach, Florida.