UConn golf tees off on Sunday
Published: Friday, August 30, 2013
Updated: Friday, August 30, 2013 01:08
The UConn men’s golf team opens their season with the Turning Stone Tiger Intercollegiate on Sunday at the Kaluhyat Course in Verona, N.Y.
Coach Dave Pezzino and staff had their hands full last season as the team incorporated five freshmen into the fray, leading to some early season struggles. However, the team ended on a strong note, with four consecutive top-10 finishes and a team title in the New England Division I Championships. Now, returning nine of the team’s 10-man roster, expect a more experienced squad to improve upon last season’s results.
Sophomore Zach Zaback returns this season as the most accomplished player on the Huskies roster. Going into last season, freshman John Flaherty of Glastonbury was supposed to be the Huskies top recruit, having just won that year’s Connecticut Division I high school championship. Despite not coming in as the most heralded player, Zaback was impressive from the start. In just his third collegiate meet, Zaback finished in first place out of an 84-player field at the Connecticut Cup. The victory was the first by a UConn player at any tournament since Jeb Buchanan in 2011.
Zaback’s success continued into the spring season, where he claimed his second first place finish as a freshman in the New England Division I Championships at the Newport National Country Club. Finishing with a five-under par score of 139, Zaback finished five strokes ahead of anyone in the field of 50. These victories led to him being named to the Division I PING All-Northeast Region Team, one of 25 collegiate golfers honored with selection.
“Zach’s just one of those kids who’s only about going out and competing,” Pezzino said, according to UConnHuskies.com. “He’s not overly results-oriented. His focus is to have good results and be successful, of course, but having won twice already, it’s not like he’s trying to get over the hump. Now, he’s just trying to take his game to another level.”
This season’s team will be co-captained by senior Mike Masso and junior Chris Waitr. The Tiger Intercollegiate is the first of five tournaments the Huskies will play in during the fall season.