Oct. 15, 2013
ELLINGTON, Conn. - For the second year in a row, UConn sophomore Zach Zaback (Farmington, Conn.) is the individual champion of The Connecticut Cup, and this year, his Husky teammates have just as much to celebrate.
Zaback successfully defended his title with a sizzling 2-under par 70 in Tuesday's third round, leading UConn to the team championship by eight strokes over second-place Hartford, last year's team titlist. UConn was the host school at Ellington Ridge Country Club.
Zaback's 70 on Tuesday was the best score of anybody in Round 3. His three-round score of 70-69-70-209 was two strokes better than his winning total of last year. In capturing the third individual crown of his college career, Zaback led the 94-player field with 15 birdies, was first in Par 4 scoring at 8-under, and was third in Par 5 scoring at 5-under. He finished one stroke ahead of second-place Evan Russell of Hartford (70-68-72-210).
Zaback had plenty of help from his teammates as the Huskies placed five golfers among the top 20 finishers. Sophomore John Flaherty (Glastonbury, Conn.) finished in a tie for 4th place with a 76-70-71-217, while junior Chris Wiatr (Woodbury, Conn.) was tied for 8th place with a 74-737-75-222, and freshman Eric Dietrich (Cheshire, Conn.) came in tied for 16th place with a 75-75-76-226.
In addition, junior Dan Myers (Ridgefield, Conn.), playing as an individual, tied for 20th place with a 74-77-77-228. Also for UConn, sophomore Corey Birch (Ridgefield, Conn.) and sophomore Cameron MacKay (Brookfield, Conn.) were part of a deadlock for 42nd place with 79-73-80-232 and 81-80-71-232, respectively, while senior Mike Masso finished. In a tie for 75th place with a 85-76-79-240.
UConn's aggregate 295-285-292-872 led the 17-team field, followed by Hartford (293-292-295-880), and Rhode Island (299-289-301-889).
The tournament, UConn's final tourney of its fall schedule, was highlighted by a celebration of Military Appreciation Day on Tuesday. UConn longtime volunteer assistant coach Carl Girasoli, an Air Force vet, surprised the players by tending the flag on hole No. 18, which was an actual American flag, while in full uniform.
"Today was Military Appreciation Day and (UConn) Coach (Dave) Pezzino had asked me if I would tend the flag on the 18th hole because it was the American flag," Girasoli said. "Last night I was thinking, if I could dig out my uniform, since I was in the Air Force from 1962-1966. I wondered if I could still fit into it and it was tight, but I still got into it. I hadn't taken it out in probably 30 years. I didn't tell Coach I was going to wear that, and I was going to surprise him.
"It was really touching and quite an honor to do that. All the players that came through shook my hand and thanked me for what I had done in the service and I really appreciated it."