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Huskies Wrap Fall at Ka'anapali Classic

MAUI, Hawaii – The UConn Huskies will close out the fall portion of their schedule with their longest trip of the season, playing in the ninth annual Ka'anapali Classic Collegiate Invitational October 26 through the 28.

This will be the Huskies sixth appearance in the event as they will be one of 20 teams competing in the 54-hole tournament being held at the par 71, Royal Ka'anapali Golf Course in Lahaina, Maui.  The tournament will have a shotgun start all three days starting at 8:30 am HT.

"We are always trying to have our guys playing in events with strong fields," stated head coach Dave Pezzino.  "It's important to recruit to UConn knowing we are playing best possible schedule every year.  That has just been a mainstay of what we are doing about building the student-athlete experience."

"We just need to go do our thing, golf our ball and see how good our good stacks up against elite programs and we will get that in this tournament."

The field will feature four teams that qualified for the 2023 NCAA Championships and 11 players that are ranked in the top-100 of the PGA TOUR University Rankings.  The field features defending champion Oklahoma along with Air Force, Boise State, Clemson, Colorado, Cal State-Northridge, Denver, East Tennessee State, Georgia, Gonzaga, Hawaii,, Kansas, Liberty, Louisiana Lafayette, Mount St. Mary's, North Florida, Oklahoma, Sacramento State, San Jose State and Wyoming.

UConn's line up will be feature senior Tommy Dallahan (Simsbury, Conn.) sophomore Connor Goode (Glastonbury, Conn.), a pair of freshmen in Alex Heard (Boca Raton, Fla.) and Bradley Sawka (Ellington, Conn.) and junior Ray Dennehy (Princton, Mass.).  Sophomore Colin Spencer (Mashpee, Mass.) will compete as an individual.

"I think Connor in a good spot and Tommy showed what his good golf looks like," commented the head coach. "Having two freshmen in lineup will be fun because I know they can play and will get to show us what they can do. Ray has been a ton of fun since and a nice addition to the lineup."

Over the three events this fall, Dallahan enters this tournament with a top-10 finish (t-5th at The Carolina Cup) and has a team-best 73.0 per round stroke average and has shot par or better in four of his nine rounds.  Goode helped lead the Huskies to team victory at the UConn Invitational at the beginning of October thanks to his individual title at the event.  Dennehy, who transferred to UConn at the start of the year from Lafayette, has been a strong addition averaging 74.6 stroke per round over nine rounds of golf with a top-10 finish under his belt.

UConn finished tied for 13th in the 20-team field last season, led by Dallahan who was tied for 22nd overall in a field of 123 players.  The Huskies flew out to Maui on Monday in preparation for their final competition of the fall. "Getting on island time is an important thing to get acclimated, that's important," said Pezzino. "Where we finish, that doesn't matter to me.  What matters to me is are we going manage the golf ball in the best possible way and show some discipline and some solid course management.  This course is a lot of fun and can be challenging. If you manage our golf ball with some discipline it will give you a lot of options and opportunities.  We have talked about being disciplined managing the course better. We've challenged the group and I'm excited to go see them put it in play."

In an effort to support those affected by the tragic wildfires on the island and in partnership with 501(c)3 organizations Spare for Change and Member for a Day, a fundraising campaign has been launched to benefit wildfire victims, including Ka'anapali Golf Courses' own associates who tragically lost everything. For more information, click here.

"We have played in this tournament the last few years and it Important to play this year after the rough couple months.  We wanted to make sure we go back and show our support and do whatever the tournament needs us to do.  I think it's important to go back so the people of Maui can see that college golf is behind them and supports them."

Following their return from Hawaii, the Huskies will return to action in the spring on Feb. 5 at BIG EAST Match Play at Bear Lakes Country Club in West Palm Beach, Fla.    

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