May 18, 2007–TEMPE, Ariz. The No. 6 UNLV mens golf team opened up play at the 2007 NCAA West Regional and the Rebels are currently tied for 10th following the first round of play at ASUs Karsten Golf Course. This year's regional marks UNLV's 19th consecutive appearance in an NCAA Regional and its 18th appearance in the West. UNLV's 2006 East Regional appearance was its only time in a region other than the West.
UCLA has the first-round lead with a 20-under 268, followed by South Carolina at 15-under 273 and then Arizona State and New Mexico are tied for third with a 13-under 275. Erik Flores of UCLA has the individual lead with an eight-under 64, followed by Charlie Beljan of New Mexico who has a seven-under 65. A group of four golfers are tied for third at six-under 66.
Eddie Olson paced the Rebels during the first round, carding a four-under 68 on the day to finish tied for 12th after the opening 18 holes of play. Olson opened with a bogey on the first hole, but then reeled off two straight birdies and played mistake free the rest of the afternoon.
Olson was joined under par by teammate CJ Gatto, who carded a three-under 69 on his round and is currently tied for 21st. Gatto rolled in four birdies and 13 pars compared to just one bogey.
Jarred Texter and Seung-su Han both shot even-par 72 in the first round and are in a group that is tied for 74th and Brett Kanda rounded out the Rebel scorecard with a six-over 78 and is tied for 131st.
The low 10 teams and two individuals not on advancing teams will move on from each regional to the championship finals. UNLV is looking to qualify for its third straight trip to the championship finals as a team and its 17th appearance at the event in the last 19 years. The 2007 NCAA Division I Men's Golf Championships will be held May 30-June 2 at the Gold Course at Golden Horseshoe Golf Club in Williamsburg, Va.
REPORT FROM: UNLV Sports Information Director Andy Grossman