SOUTH KENT, Conn. --- With 19 teams chasing the UConn golf team Tuesday, the Huskies simply refused to wilt under pressure.
Holding a four-shot lead after the first two rounds of the Hartford Hawks Invitational, UConn shot the best final round of any team in the tournament to capture a 13-stroke victory Tuesday at Bull's Bridge Golf Club. UConn placed four golfers among the top 12.
The Huskies, playing in their first event of the 2015-16 season, fired a sizzling 11-under 279-286-288=853 to top the 20-team field. UCF was second with a 2-over 289-280-297=866, while Towson captured third place with a 3-over 288-288-291=867.
The win is the sixth team title under nine-year head coach Dave Pezzino. UConn, which also won the Hawks Invitational in 2005, had finished third in the tournament in each of the past two years.
Junior Eric Dietrich (Cheshire, Conn.) led the Huskies with an 8-under, 67-69-72=208, good enough to tie for second place, two strokes in back of medalist Kyle Buschmann of Bryant University. It is the best finish of Dietrich's college career, also his lowest-ever tournament score, and the 67 is his career-best round. He now has shot par or better in nine rounds and has four sub-70 rounds.
UConn freshman Jimmy Hervol (Hopkinton, Mass.), the reigning Massachusetts Junior Amateur champion, began his college career with a bang, posting a 3-under, 72-72-69=213, to finish alone in eighth place.
Senior co-captain Zach Zaback (Farmington, Conn.) posted the 11th Top 10 finish of his career with a 1-under, 69-74-72=215 to finish in a tie for ninth place. It was Zaback's 10th sub-70 round and his 28th and 29th rounds of par or better.
Senior co-captain John Flaherty (Glastonbury, Conn.) finished in a tie for 12th with his 1-over, 71-71-75=217, giving him 14 Top 20 finishes and 15 rounds of par or better.
Senior Cameron MacKay (Brookfield, Conn.) also competed and finished in a tie for 52nd place in the 108-player field with a 79-74-76=229.
UConn returns to tournament action this weekend, Sept. 26-28, when it competes in the Jackrabbit Fall Invitational, hosted by South Dakota State, at The Prairie Club in Valentine, Neb.
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