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Huskies Head to The Carolina Cup Off A Win

STORRS, Conn. – The UConn golf team jumps right back into action coming off an individual and team title earlier this week as the Huskies head down to Spartanburg, S.C. to take part in the The Carolina Cup at the Carolina Country Club.  Fans can follow the action via live scoring at SpikeMark.com and watch the live stream at GKLive.TV

This is the third year of the event and the third appearance for the Huskies at the The Carolina Cup hosted by USC Upstate and supported by Proud Partners Taco Bell and the BMW Performance Center.  Teams will arrive on Friday with a practice round schedule for Saturday before round one tees off on Sunday morning.  The three round event will wrap-up on Tuesday afternoon.

The Huskies are part of a 16-team field that will compete at the The Carolina Country Club, a championship caliber golf course and facility, the club is one of the current host courses for the PGA Tour Korn Ferry BMW Charity Pro-Am.

UConn will roll out with their same lineup that is coming off the program's 17th tournament title under head coach Dave Pezzino earlier this week, the UConn Invitational at GreatHorse.  Sophomore Connor Goode (Glastonbury, Conn.), who is coming off his first career individual title at the Huskies' home tournament, leads the UConn group followed by junior Ray Dennehy (Princeton, Mass.), freshman Bradley Sawka (Ellington, Conn.), senior Tommy Dallahan (Simsbury, Conn.), and junior Trevor Lopez (Winchester, Mass.).  Junior Eric Boulger (Walpole, Mass.) will compete as an individual.

After a last place team finish in the first event of the season, the Huskies flipped the script this past week with their fifth in the 15-year history of the UConn Invitational.  UConn's tournament total of a 4-over, 292-292-284=868 finished 11 strokes ahead of second-place Siena College with Goode leading the way and claiming his first BIG EAST Player of the Week nod in the process. 

For Coach Pezzino, he saw his Huskies take a big step in the early stages of the season.  "It showed our guys that our "good" is good enough to win tournaments and its just a matter of getting comfortable being uncomfortable.  You have to learn how to win and we took a step towards doing that."

"I think its really hard to win in college golf even at your home events, and after that first tournament, we did a really good job of learning," stated Pezzino.  "I think we did a great job of that at GreatHorse.  It is a demanding golf course that asks you to do a lot.  We had a process where we discussed how we were going to play certain holes prior and I think we showed a lot of discipline and that showed our guys that we can post rounds that are good enough to win tournaments."

The Huskies finished seventh at last year's Carolina Cup with Dallahan as the team's top-finisher.  The senior fired a three-round score of 215 (72-73-70) to place 12th in the field.  UAB is the defending champion and will return to this year's field that also features host USC Upstate, Tennessee Tech, UTSA, Lipscomb, North Texas, Jacksonville, Charleston Southern, Winthrop, Lafayette, Kennesaw State, Mercer, Howard, Central Michigan and JMU.

"This is a tournament we have played in twice and this will be a very strong field," said Pezzino.  "The way the event is run, the golf course is in phenomenal shape.  Every year we have been to Carolina Country Club it has gotten measurably better every single time. 

"This will be the second time this semester that our team will play for a Korn Ferry tour exemption spot.  That's what is at stake this week.  These guys want to play professional golf and if you win this tournament, you get to play against some of the best in the world.  This falls in line with everything we want to do.  We want to play a national schedule and chase banners and titles against the best in the country."

The Huskies have the Carolina Cup and a trip to Hawaii in a few weeks left on their fall schedule, looking to finish the semester with some more solid results.  "We are heading in the right direction and I felt that early in qualifying at GreatHorse," Pezzino stated.  "I feel really good watching our decision making and some of our key stats and we are trending in a good direction.  If we have a good day of preparation on Saturday and three solid days of good discipline and decision making, I think we can have a successful week."

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