BALTIC, Conn. --- Another tournament, another championship for the UConn men's golf team.
The Huskies had four players finish in the top 11 as the they came from behind to win the Veteran Golfers Association/UConn Collegiate Invitational Saturday at Mohegan Sun Golf Club in Baltic, Conn. It was the second consecutive tournament title for UConn, which won the Lafayette Collegiate Invitational last week, and the Huskies' third championship in their last five events. The Huskies were the defending champions of the VGA event.
UConn was in second place after Friday's second round, trailing Bryant by four strokes, but fired an aggregate 289 on Saturday, to finish with a 3-under 285-287-289=861, beating hard-charging St. Thomas Aquinas by seven strokes in the 10-team field. The win - which gave 10-year head coach Dave Pezzino the first three-win season of his coaching career -- also extended a remarkable streak of six consecutive Top 3 finishes for the Huskies. In 10 events this season, only once has UConn has finished lower than sixth.
Leading the Huskies' charge to victory Saturday was senior co-captain Eric Dietrich (Cheshire, Conn.), who shot a 2-under 70, to complete a 1-under 77-68-70=215, tying sophomore teammate Jimmy Hervol (Hopkinton, Mass.), who shot 1-under 72-71-72=215, for third place. It was the sixth top 10 finish for each of them this year. Bryant University's Will DelBaggio (3-under 70-69-74=213) captured individual medalist honors in the 61-player field.
Besides Dietrich and Hervol, UConn senior co-captain Tyler Cooke (Warwick, R.I.) shot 3-over 68-76-75=219, and freshman Tim Umphrey (Northborough, Mass.) shot 3-over 72-75-72=219 to be part of a tie for 11th place. Sophomore Nabeel Khan (Westerville, Ohio) tied for 24th place with a 7-over 73-73-77=223.
UConn also had five players compete as individuals, led by junior Sasha Wortelboer (Geneva, Switzerland), who had the best finish of his college career, tying for 8th place with a 1-over 76-71-70=217. Freshman Chandler Morris (Hope Sound, Fla.) was part of the 11th place tie with a 3-over 75-69-75=219, while sophomore Blake Kelley (Manchester, Conn.) tied for 26th with an 8-over 74-74-76=224.
The VGA/UConn Collegiate Invitational marked the final event of the Huskies' regular-season, which featured three championships, one second-place finish, two thirds, one fourth, one fifth, one sixth, and one ninth.
UConn will next compete at the American Athletic Conference Championship, scheduled for April 23-25, at the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Golf Resort in Palm Harbor, Fla.