March 16, 2009

Courtesy of UNLV Athletics

LAS VEGAS - The UNLV men's golf team, ranked 31st in the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index, shot a final-round-low 6-under-par 282 on Sunday to win its second straight team title at the Southern Highlands Collegiate Championship and fourth in the last five years. The Rebels finished the tournament, which was hosted by UNLV, the Las Vegas Founders and Southern Highlands Golf Club (par 72, 7,510 yards), with a 54-hole total of 9-under 855, one shot better than No. 3 Oklahoma State.

The Cowboys held a 12-shot lead over UNLV heading into the final round, but shot 7-over 295 on Sunday to finish second. No. 1 Georgia was third at 6-over, No. 6 Florida was fourth at 8-over, while No. 2 USC rounded out the top five at 15-over.

It was UNLV's second team title of the season (also won the William H. Tucker Invitational in Albuquerque, N.M., in September), was its sixth top-five finish in seven outings this year and was its eighth Southern Highlands Collegiate Championship title in the last 15 years.

The tournament featured six of the top-10 teams in the country and 11 of the top 25.

No. 10 Georgia Tech's Cameron Tringale won medalist honors at 11-under 205, after a final-round 4-under 68. He won the event by five strokes over USC's Matthew Giles and Oklahoma State's Morgan Hoffman, who shot final-round scores of even-par and 4-over, respectively.

The Rebels were led by Brett Kanda and Eddie Olson, who finished fourth and fifth, respectively. Kanda was 4-under for the tournament after a final-round 3-under, while Olson finished at 3-under after a final-round 3-under. Colby Smith and Jeremiah Wooding, who was competing as an individual, both tied for ninth at 1-over. Smith finished up play Sunday with a 5-over, while Wooding carded a 4-over during the final round.

Derek Ernst finished tied for 14th for UNLV at 3-over, after shooting a final-round 1-over, Ji Moon tied for 19th at 5-over after a final-round of 1-under and Johnny Pinjuv, playing as an individual, finished 80th.

There were 15 total teams competing in the event. UNLV will be back in action on March 22, when it travels to Tucson, Ariz., for the National Invitational Tournament.