This past weekend, the UConn men’s golf team headed down to Scottsdale, AZ to compete in the Desert Mountain Collegiate. Joined by 15 other schools, the Huskies looked for a top finish after placing 11th out of 19 teams in the Advance Golf Partners Collegiate just three weeks prior.
The stage was set at the beautiful Outlaw Course at Desert Mountain where the greens are overlooked by the McDowell Mountain Range and Pinnacle Park. Outlaw Course is an 18-hole, par-72 course that stretches 7,107 yards and creates a big challenge for players with their pesky desert wind gusts.
Connecticut got off to a rough start as they shot a combined +11 on day one, dropping them to 12th place to start the weekend. Day two wasn’t any better, as the group sank all the way to 15th place after shooting a +64 across the two days of the invitational.
The team’s rough performance could potentially drop them into the low 200s of the GolfStat.com collegiate rankings (previously 174).
The Huskies were led by graduate student Jared Nelson, who shot a +10 and finished 41st out of 93 individual players, Also for UConn, junior Jimmy Paradise tied for 58th place with a 14-over, 75-78-77=230. Junior Tommy Dallahan tied for 82nd place with a 23-over, 73-85-81=239, with first-year Colin Spencer not far behind him with a 25-over, 78-77-86=241. Finishing fifth for Connecticut was sophomore Eric Boulger, who tied for 87th place with a 26-over, 79-81-82=242. First-year Christopher Sacher played as an individual and finished in 91st, shooting 78-86-84=248. UConn’s only eagle during the weekend came from Dallahan, who got a hole-in-2 on the 10th hole, a par four. Paradise was a par machine in this tournament, racking up 35 over the course of 54 holes.
Nationally ranked Mississippi State shot a +2 to capture the first-place finish, with Little Rock, Michigan, Santa Clara and New Mexico State rounding out the top five. Fellow Big East competitor DePaul University finished dead last in the invitational, shooting a +69.
After shooting an aggregate 299-316-313=928 at the Desert Mountain Collegiate, the Huskies will be looking for improved play as they continue their spring season on March 13 and 14 in Myrtle Beach to compete in the Bash at the Beach.