Golf team is Nationals Bound
Phil Zoppi – Sports Editor
The Southern Connecticut State University golf team has already qualified for Nationals and has been ranked as high as number two in the country this season.
The golf team is currently number 29 in the country but Chris Kuczo, the president of the golf club, is really proud of the way his team has performed in 2017.
“We were definitely expecting to be this good,” said Kuczo. “I’m so impressed with our ascent into the top 50. This the highest we have been ranked and I think we can compete with any team when we are on.”
The golf team has 14 players in total and Kuczo has pointed towards Vincent Barone as being one of the very best on the team. According to the National Collegiate Golf Association Barone has an average score of 75 this year and a low round of 71. Kuczo has said that Barone used to be an eight or nine handicap and now does not need a handicap at all.
Southern has not been known for being a powerhouse at golf but Barone believes that the team and he can keep up with any team or golfer in the country.
“Honestly, I feel that I can compete with any NCCGA golfer in the country,” said Barone. “I know what I am capable of doing on the course, it’s just a matter of whether I hit the right shots at the right time. I believe I have more tournament experience than the majority of club golfers and I also believe I have more accolades.”
Alabama is ranked No. 1 in the country and Barone has recognized the talent that they possess on paper but thinks that Southern can compete with them at Nationals.
Kuczo is confident that Southern can compete with teams like Alabama as well but he has other concerns that he has to worry about as president of the golf team. There are many responsibilities that Kuczo has to deal with for the golf team to even be able to compete with other schools.
“I have a lot of responsibilities,” said Kuczo. “Most of the time I’m organizing funds and rosters to get our team to tournaments. Lots of it is behind the scenes busy work. But I like having a leadership role, I’ve certainly embraced it the past two and a half years.”
Organizing funds is something that Kuczo is especially focused on right now as the team tries to raise enough money to go to Nationals. Nationals will be held on April 29 and 30 in Hot Springs, Arkansas. The expenses of transportation and housing are costly but it looks like the golf team is going to be able to attend Nationals.
John Coniglio, the co-vice president of the golf club, puts the chances of the team going at 50 percent earlier in the week so it is a nice surprise that Southern will be able to attend Nationals. Kuczo likes Southern’s chances at Nationals.
“I can honestly say that I think we can really compete if we go to Nationals,” said Kuczo. “We have a solid team, and we are really clicking all at the same time right now.”
Photo Courtesy: The NCCGA