LAS VEGAS -- UNLV shot a final-round 6-over-par 294 on Sunday and won the team title at the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters, which was played at Southern Highlands Golf Club (par 72, 7,510 yards).
The prestigious tournament, which annually features one of the toughest fields in college golf, included seven of the top-10 ranked teams in the country according to Golfweek. In addition, 11 of the 15 teams competing were ranked in the top 20. All participants this year were ranked in the nation’s top 50 and the field featured 20 of the top 30 ranked individuals.
UNLV had the lead at the end of each round throughout the tournament and the win was the team’s second in the past three years at the Collegiate Masters, fifth in the past seven years and seventh in the past 10.
“We were looking to show a lot of effort and toughness today,” UNLV head coach Dwaine Knight said. “It wasn’t an easy day at all. The weather was beautiful, but the course played very tough. We really hung in there, especially at the end and made some big shots. Every single player in our lineup was playing hard even though we had some guys unable to compete.
“Wow, just a big wow. To come away with a win knowing what we were facing this week with the quality of the field and how tough the course plays, I am very proud of the guys. With AJ [McInerney] and Nicholas [Maruri] being out, the effort was very special because some guys really had to step up. That isn’t easy to do when you are going against the nation’s best. It’s not often that something like that comes to fruition, but this time it did and it was very special.”
UNLV finished with a 54-hole total of 22-over 886, while Stanford and Oklahoma State both finished two shots back at 24-over 888. Stanford also shot 6-over on Sunday, while Oklahoma State turned in a 1-under 287. Alabama and UCLA rounded out the top five as they both tied for fourth at 33-over.
Individually, Stanford’s Patrick Rodgers successfully defended his individual title at the tournament and won this year’s event by two shots at 1-over 217. He shot a final-round 2-over 74. There was a six-way tie for second place that included UNLV junior Kurt Kitayama at 3-over 219. Kitayama was 1-under 71 during the final round. UNLV junior Carl Jonson also finished in the top 10 as he carded a 4-over 220 for the tournament, which put him in a tie for eighth. He shot even-par 72 during the final round.
Other Rebel scores: freshman Taylor Montgomery tied for 17th at 7-over 223 after a final-round 3-over 75, sophomore Zane Thomas finished 33rd at 11-over 227 after a final-round 7-over 79 and freshman Redford Bobbitt tied for 72nd at 244-over 240 after a final-round 4-over 76. There were a total of 81 individuals competing.
Rebels playing as individuals: freshman Chris Tuulik tied for 62nd at 19-over 235 after a final-round 3-over 75, freshman Kenden Slattery finished 76th at 26-over 242 after a final-round 6-over 78, freshman James Feutz finished 77th at 27-over 243 after a final-round 5-over 77. McInernery, a sophomore who withdrew during the first round because of back issues, shot a final-round 3-over par 75 after shooting 78 during the second round.
This was UNLV’s second win of the season as it also captured the title at the Carmel Cup at Pebble Beach in September. The Rebels have now finished in the top five in three of their six events this year.