Jan. 19, 2012
STORRS, Conn. -- A challenging lineup of tournaments that includes three separate trips to Florida and another to California awaits the University of Connecticut men's golf team as the Huskies head into the spring portion of their 2011-12 schedule.
Hoping to build on the success they enjoyed last fall with a first-place finish in the Hartford Hawks Invitational and a second-place in The Classic at Shelter Harbor, UConn will begin its spring slate with BIG EAST Match Play on February 13-14 at Reunion Resort in Orlando, Fla., the same course where the Huskies will compete for the BIG EAST Championship on April 29-May 1.
"Starting off with match play gives us a good opportunity to get some good, competitive reps against some really great teams," said UConn head coach Dave Pezzino, in his fifth year at the helm of the Huskies. "It's a matter of being able to play in competition and play in good weather, as well as getting the guys familiar with the golf course. Match play is a great form of play and I don't think college golf plays enough of it."
The Huskies, led by co-captains senior Jeb Buchanan (Loudonville, N.Y.) and junior Brian Hughes (Fairfield, Conn.), will journey to Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., on March 12-13 to compete in The Farms Invitational and follow that with another trip to Florida for the FAU Spring Break Championship on March 23-25 in Lake Worth.
"I'm excited to take the team out West to play in the University of San Diego's tournament," Pezzino said. "It's a really good field and should be a great experience for us. "We want to improve our finish from last year's FAU event. It's another good field with a bunch of Big Ten schools and Midwest teams, plus some really strong southern schools."
The Huskies will spend the weekend of April 7-8, at a new event, the Rutherford Invitational at the Blue Course at Penn State University, then finish the regular season on April 14-15 at the Wolfpack Spring Open in Raleigh, N.C.
"That will be a big one because it's just a couple of weeks before the BIG EAST Championship and the field will be really strong," Pezzino said. "It should give us a good compass to what we have going on, where we are with our golf by April 15."
UConn will travel back to Orlando and Reunion Resort for the conference championship on April 29-May 1.
"It's going to be a lot of fun," Pezzino said. "The golf course is a good one and I think it fits our team really well." The Huskies should be well-prepared following a spring of tough competition. "The whole basis of our schedule is to really challenge the players all the way through the fall and the spring," Pezzino said. "I'm really looking forward to the spring schedule. It goes along the line of the tradition we've set since I've been here. We want a strong schedule, fall and spring, and this is just another piece of that puzzle."