SOUTH KENT, Conn. -- Led by a sizzling 6-under par 66 by senior co-captain Eric Dietrich (Cheshire, Conn.), the UConn men's golf team produced an impressive aggregate score of 13-under 275 in Tuesday's final round to finish fifth in the 19-team Hartford Hawks Invitational, held at Bull's Bridge Golf Club.
UConn's 13-under was the best round by any team in the tournament, and lifted the Huskies from 11th place on Monday to their second straight Top 5 finish of the new season, the biggest jump of any competing team. UConn (296-275=571) had a 21-stroke improvement from Round 1, finishing at 5-under. The tourney, which was cut from 54 holes to 36 by Monday's rainy conditions, was won by Cal Poly (558), followed by UCF and Seton Hall. UConn finished just one stroke behind fourth-place Sam Houston State.
Dietrich's 66 was the best round of the 107-player field on Tuesday and the second-best individual round of the tournament, one stroke behind the 65 shot on Monday by eventual tourney medalist Donnie Trosper of UCF. Dietrich led the tourney in Par 5 scoring, playing the par 5 holes in 7-under and finished in a tie for seventh with a 4-under 74-66=140.
It marked the seventh Top 10 and 11th Top 20 finish of Dietrich's college career and included his 10th sub-70 round and his 25th round of par or better.
Dietrich had solid support from sophomore Nabeel Khan (Westerville, Ohio), who finished in a tie for 12th place with a 3-under 70-71=141 and freshman Chandler Morris (Hobe Sound, Fla.), who finished in a tie for 22nd with an even-par 75-69=144, which included the first sub-70 round of his career.
The Huskies also had three golfers playing as individuals, led by junior Sasha Wortelboer (Geneva, Switzerland), who shot a 2-under 71-71=142, the fifth and sixth rounds of par or better in his career, to earn a 17th place finish. Freshman Tim Umphrey (Northborough, Mass.), competing in his first college event, finished in a tie for 34th place with a 73-74=147, while sophomore Nick Harrington (Chaplin, Conn.) tied for 79th place with a 78-77=155.
UConn continues the fall portion of its 2016-17 schedule on Sept. 25-27, when it journeys to Valentine, Neb., to compete in the Jackrabbit Fall Invitational, hosted by South Dakota State University.