The nationally-ranked UNLV golf team hosts the Southern Highlands Collegiate March 9-11 at the lavish and spectacular Southern Highlands Golf Club, one of the most beatufiful and best golf courses in Las Vegas.

By Brian Hurlburt, Golf Las Vegas Now editor

The event is unofficially dubbed the Masters of college golf because of the terrific field that annually tees it up in Las Vegas. In 2006, 13 of the top 15 teams in the country competed in the tournament. Southern Highlands was the last course designed by the father and son duo of Robert Trent Jones, Jr. and Sr.

Southern Highlands Golf Club

Southern Highlands Golf Club

In 2007, the defending NCAA Champs, Oklahoma State, and many of the top finishers from the 2006 NCAA tournament are scheduled to play including Florida, Kentucky, Minnesota, Arizona State and UCLA.

"It will be another great field," says UNLV Head Coach Dwaine Knight. "What makes this event so special is that it is now usually ranked, by strength of schedule, as the best college golf event of the year, and that includes the NCAA Finals. A lot of the credit goes to the Las Vegas Founders and also Southern Highlands Golf Club and their owner Garry Goett. This has really become a prized invite for teams to have the chance to come and play here."

The Rebels are the two-time definding champions of the event, and are in position to win the event for an impressive third time. The Rebels finished 10 shots better than Georgia in 2006. Rebel Matt Kinsinger won the individual title, the first UNLV golfer to do so since Ryan Moore won it in 2003.

Jared Texter

Jared Texter

The Rebels were ranked 14th in the final fall poll. Alabama, Oklahoma State and Florida were the top three teams in the country. The Rebel team is led by Jarred Texter who recently finished 6th at the 32nd Annual Western Refining College All-America Golf Classic at the El Paso Country Club, Ryan Keeney and Matt Kinsinger among others.

The Southern Highlands Collegiate is open to the public and organized by the Las Vegas Founders. Email Golf Las Vegas Now for details on how to attend.

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