UNLV narrowly edges No. 1 Cal by one point to win ASU Thunderbird invite
TEMPE, Ariz. -- UNLV fired a final-round-low 7-under-par 277 on Sunday to capture the team title by one shot ahead of top-ranked California at the ASU Thunderbird Invitational. The 18-team, 100-individual tournament was played at Karsten Golf Course (par 71, 7,013 yards).
The team victory was the first for UNLV in nine events this season and its fifth top-four finish of the year.
"This was a great win for us," head coach Dwaine Knight said. "I am very proud of the guys, this was an important win for the program. A huge team win. Our attitude, effort and focus was there this week. It was a total team victory."
The Rebels finished the 54-hole event at 9-under 843, while California, which shot a final-round 6-under 278, was second at 8-under. San Diego finished third at 5-under, followed by No. 3 New Mexico in fourth at 2-under and San Diego State in fifth at even-par.
Oregon State's Nick Chianello won medalist honors by a shot at 11-under 202 after a final-round 1-under 70. Iowa State's Scott Fernandez and California Brandon Hagy both tied for second at 10-under.
The Rebels were led by sophomore Kurt Kitayama and senior Kevin Penner, who both tied for fifth at 6-under 207. Kitayama was 2-under during the final round, while Penner shot 4-under. Penner's final round consisted of six birdies and a double bogey, while Kitayama also had six birdies, with two bogeys and a double bogey.