March 11, 2008 (UPDATED March 12)–With all of the talk surrounding who is in and who is out of the NCAA basketball tournament, it was easy for Golfweek Magazine college golf guru Lance Ringler to make a comparision with that event when talking about the UNLV women's golf home event. According to Ringler, host of Off Campus TV at golfweektv.com, the UNLV Spring Invitational, being played at the 27-hole Boulder Creek Golf Club, features many teams who are "on the bubble" and that could either make it or not to the NCAA golf playoffs. UNLV was leading the event after round one with a terrific 4-under par team score. Entering the final round, the Rebels had fallen into sixth. The field includes several teams between the 35 and 60th in the Golfweek rankings, and Ringler says that the top 55 teams should get into the regional playoffs. And a good finish in Las Vegas will go a long way. UNLV's Natasha Krishna (pictured) was in 6th–she fell to 21st entering the final round–, with the help of her second ace of the season. Click the live scoring link for up-to-minute scoring. Golf Las Vegas Now will have a final recap.
The field includes BYU (35), Indiana (42), San Francisco (47), Washington (48), Oregon (49), Texas Tech (50), UNLV (55), Wshington State (57) and UC Davis (59), among others in that general ranking.
Under bright sunny skies, the UNLV women’s golf team put together its best round of the year to lead after the opening 18 holes of the UNLV Spring Invitational at Boulder Creek Golf Club.
The Rebels fired a four-under 284 as a team and have a one-stroke lead over Washington State, which was the only other club with a sub-par round on the par-72, 6,204-yard course. San Francisco (291, +3) is in third while Oregon and Texas Tech are tied for fourth with scores of four-over 292.
UNLV has three individuals in the top 10 with sub-par rounds, led by Natasha Krishna and Kasi Lee, who are tied for sixth with scores of two-under 70. They are just two strokes behind leader Kelly Nakashima of Idaho, who carded a 68 (-4) on her round, one stroke better than a group of four players at three-under 69.
“We played very well but the ladies feel that they could have played even better,” UNLV head coach Missy Ringler Iand Husband of Lance) said. “The big difference today was that we had four good scores to count. Kasi Lee played very well today, and that was the key.”
Krishna’s round featured the second ace of the season for the sophomore, as she dropped in a hole-in-one on the second hole, a par-3 that is playing 142 yards. She added three birdies and had three bogies during her round. Krishna’s first hole-in-one came at the Stanford Intercollegiate, where she aced the par-3, 166-yard third hole.
“That is pretty amazing,” Ringler said. “She hit a seven iron perfect. I have never had a player hit two hole-in-ones in the same season in my coaching career.”
Lee put together the best round of her Rebel career on Monday, rolling in four birdies to go with a double-bogey. The sub-par round was the first of her UNLV career as well.
Therese Koelbaek was the other Rebel who finished her round under par on Monday, carding a one-under 71 that has her currently in a tie for ninth. She played steady golf, with three birdies to go with 13 pars and two bogies.
Alejandra Guacaneme is currently tied for 19th with a score of 73 (+1) while Tonya Choate rounds out the Rebel scorecard after day one tied for 84th with a score of 83 (+9). UNLV also had a pair of individuals playing in the tournament, with Melissa Mabanta (75, +3) tied for 39th and Nicole McGirr (87, +15) in 93rd place.
Lance Ringler was also quick to note that the Rebels have suffered some unfortunate scoring luck recently, with a couple solid finishes wiped out by tough rules violations. At the Stanford tournament, UNLV's Therese Koelbaek inadvertently used an illegal range finder (all players were allowed to use range finders similar to Keolbaek's) and was DQ'd after recording a round of 71. The Rebels fell from 1oth to 17th in that event.
And in another event at the University of San Francisco, Natasha Krishna forgot to sign a scorecard and the Rebels fell from first to third. Without those two scoring problems, Ringler says the Rebels could be within the top 40 of the rankings.
The tournament is open to the public and goes through March 12 at Boulder Creek.