Men’s Golf Team Wins Major Tournament
The win gave the Hawks their first regular season tournament title since the ECAC Championship in 2001-02. However, the field of 17 teams at the Purple & Red was much more competitive.
“This was a total team effort,” said Head Coach Bill Poutre. “I couldn’t be prouder of my guys. We’ve won smaller tournaments before, but this was a top-100 field that featured teams from all over the country. We beat some great teams today, and it took everybody on our squad to do it.”
The Hawks started the day in second place, three shots behind the University of San Francisco. After the first four holes of the final round the leaderboard got crowded, as Hartford and the University of Utah pulled into a tie for the lead.
While San Francisco faded throughout the round, Utah and Hartford battled it out for the team title. Utah, which began the day three strokes behind Hartford, combined to shoot 292 as a team in the final round. The Hawks, after opening with rounds of 283 and 288 on Monday, finished with a round of 292. Though both teams shot 863 for the tournament, the Hawks were awarded the team title by virtue of a tiebreaker (lowest dropped score).
Freshman Maki Kobayashi paced the Hawks on the day, shooting an even-par round of 72. Last year’s Connecticut State High School Player of the Year finished third overall after leading the tournament for two rounds. He vaulted to the top of the leaderboard after a six-under par 66 in the first round and stayed there overnight after carding an even-par round of 72 in Monday’s second round. His three-round total of 210 (-6) was two shots behind Cal Poly’s Dave Lewinski for medalist honors.
Junior A.J. Oleksak and freshman Nick MacDonald each tied for 15th place overall at 217 (+1). After shooting rounds of 71 and 73 on Monday, MacDonald added another 73 to the scorecard in the final round. Oleksak, who shot 66 in the second round Monday to tie Kobayashi for the low round of the tournament, finished with a 76. It was his 76, however, that bested Utah’s Steve Broker (80) to give the Hawks the team title.
Rounding out the scoring for the Hawks were senior Dustin Wetherup and sophomore Kyle Parsons. Both finished tied for 46th with totals of 224 (+8). Parsons carded a final round of 73 while Wetherup posted a 74. Freshman Zack Ungvarsky, playing as an individual, finished tied for 77th at 232.
“Every single player’s score factored into this win,” said Poutre. “Even A.J.’s score, which we ended up dropping, made the difference in the tiebreaker.”
“This win shows how far this program has come,” said Poutre. “When I took over at Hartford in December of 2004, we were ranked 261st in the country. A win like this should move us into the top 100.”
Hartford will look to carry over its momentum at The McLaughlin on Sept. 22-23 at Bethpage Red in Farmingdale, N.Y.