UConn Athletic Communications / October 27, 2022
LAHAINA, Maui — The UConn golf team is closing the fall portion of the 2022-23 season this weekend with a trip to Hawaii to compete against a prestigious field in the eighth annual Ka’anapali Classic Collegiate Invitational.
The field of 20 teams, drawn from 17 different states and representing 12 different conferences, will compete in a 54-hole, three-day event at the Royal Ka’anapali Golf Course.
“With the trade winds and the Bermuda grass, the golf course is a huge challenge,” said UConn coach Dave Pezzino. “But I think the golf course is a good fit for the group that goes out.”
The Hawaii UConn group is led by graduate student Jared Nelson (Rutland, Vt.), who leads the Huskies in scoring (69.7) and has racked up three Top Two spots in four tournaments this year.
Junior Jimmy Paradise (Tampa, Fla.) is second on the team in scoring (72.9), with two Top 20 places, and junior Tommy Dallahan (73.2) has two Top 15 places in two appearances.
Sophomore Trevor Lopez (Winchester, Mass.), averaging 74.2 points, with a Top 10 finish, and freshman Colin Spencer (Mashpee, Mass.), averaging 74.3, complete UConn’s quintet. Sophomore Vikram Konanki (Newton, Mass.), with an average of 75.8, will compete individually in the event.
“I like Jared’s leadership through training this week,” said Pezzino. “We talked about shots we’d be dealing with — low-running chip shots to keep the ball out of the wind, tee shots knocked over. We were talking about just golfing, now worrying about what swings look like — just competing.”
Obviously the location and tropical setting can be distracting.
“Everyone is excited that we’re going to Hawaii, but for us it’s a business trip,” Pezzino said. “The field is really good, the strongest field we’ll come across next to an (NCAA) region, so that’s what we’re most focused on. We’ve done some serious work on the golf course. This tournament will let us know how well we’re doing.” ‘good is.”
Defending Ka’anapali Classic Champion Kansas leads the 2022 tournament field. Joining the Jayhawks and UConn are Air Force, Boise State, Clemson, Colorado, CSUN, Denver, East Tennessee State, Georgia, Gonzaga, Hawaii, Liberty, Louisiana Lafayette, Mississippi, Mount St. Mary’s, North Florida, Oklahoma, UC Irvine, and Wyoming.
The strong field includes seven teams that qualified for the 2022 NCAA Championships and nine teams currently in the Top 100.
UConn enters the Ka’anapali Classic with three Top Five finishes in four tournaments this season.
After returning from Hawaii, the Huskies will take a three-month semester break before beginning the spring portion of the 2022-23 season on Feb. 6 at BIG EAST Match Play at Bear Lakes Country Club in West Palm Beach, Florida.