HELLERTOWN, Pa. --- The UConn men's golf team was not about to be caught from behind at the Coca-Cola Lafayette Collegiate Invitational.
Leading by a slim one-stroke margin after Sunday's first round at the Silver Creek Country Club in Hellertown, Pa., the Huskies fired an outstanding 1-under par aggregate score of 287 on Monday to win the tournament championship by an impressive 14 strokes over Drexel and Bryant, which tied for second place. The 287 was the best team round of the tournament as UConn's 6-over total score of 295-287=582 dominated the huge 19-team field.
UConn placed all four of its scoring players among the top eight, led by senior co-captain Eric Dietrich (Cheshire, Conn.), who tied for low round of the day with a 2-under 70 on Monday to finish in a three-way tie for first place with a 1-under total of 73-70=143. It was Dietrich's best finish of the season and his fifth Top 10 finish of the year. In the three-way playoff for individual medalist honors, Anton Frondelius of Wagner College emerged victorious over Dietrich and Lucas Trim of Villanova.
The title was the second for the Huskies this season - they also won the Loyola Intercollegiate in Goodyear, Ariz., on Feb. 27 - and was their fifth consecutive Top 3 finish and their seventh Top 5 finish in nine events this year. It marks the ninth tournament championship for UConn under 10-year head coach Dave Pezzino, and the second straight year that the Huskies have won at least two events in the same season.
Close behind Dietrich for the Huskies was freshman Tim Umphrey (Northborough, Mass.), who produced the best finish of his college career, coming in fourth with a 2-over 74-72=146.
Sophomore Jimmy Hervol (Hopkinton, Mass.) finished in a tie for fifth, his fifth Top 10 this year, with a 3-over 74-73=147, while sophomore Nabeel Khan (Westerville, Ohio) tied for eighth place with a 4-over 76-72=148. It was his third Top 10 finish. Senior Tyler Cooke (Warwick, R.I.) finished just outside the Top 10, ending in a tie for 11th place with a 5-over 74-75=149. It was Cooke's best finish of the year.
Playing as an individual in the 108-player field, UConn sophomore Nick Harrington (Chaplin, Conn.) tied for 76th place with an 84-77=161.
In the final event before the American Athletic Conference Championship, UConn will be the host school for the Veteran Golfers Association/UConn Collegiate Invitational, set for April 14-15 at the Mohegan Sun Golf Club in Baltic, Conn.