PALM HARBOR, Fla. --- The UConn men's golf team capped an outstanding 2016-17 season with its best-ever finish in the four-year history of the American Athletic Conference Championship, tying with SMU for sixth place.
USF handily defended its AAC title with a 5-over 287-283-287=857 to win by 15 strokes, but only 12 strokes separated the next six teams in the standings after Tuesday's final round at the Copperhead Course at the Innisbrook Resort.
The Huskies' 295-292-297=884, which was matched by SMU (884), was just three strokes behind fifth-place Memphis (881), just seven strokes behind fourth-place UCF (877), and 12 behind Houston (872) and Cincinnati (872), which tied for second place. East Carolina (898) and Temple (902) finished eighth and ninth, respectively.
Individually, sophomore Jimmy Hervol (Hopkinton, Mass.) led the Huskies with a 4-over 71-70-76=217 to finish in eighth place, his seventh Top 10 and eighth Top 20 finish of the year. Senior Eric Dietrich (Cheshire, Conn.) finished in a tie for 11th place with a 6-over 72-75-72=219, his seventh Top 20 finish this season and the 17th of his career. Both were the best finish by a UConn player in the AAC Championship. The previous best finish by a Husky was 12th by Dietrich last year.
Also for UConn, sophomore Nabeel Khan (Westerville, Ohio) finished in a tie for 23rd with an 11-over 77-72-75=224, while senior Tyler Cooke (Warwick, R.I.) was tied for 34th with a 15-over 79-75-74=228, and freshman Tim Umphrey (Northborough, Mass.) finished in a tie for 37th with a 17-over 75-79-76=230.
The sixth-place finish broke UConn's streak of six consecutive Top 3 finishes, including victories in its two previous tournaments. In 11 events this season, the Huskies had three first-place finishes, one second, two thirds, one fourth, one fifth, two sixths, and one ninth.