May 17, 2008 (UPDATED MAY 18)–UNLV finished in 24th place at the NCAA West Regional event being played at the very difficult Gold Mountain Golf Club in Bremerton, Washington. It was the team's worst finish at the event in head coach Dwaine Knight's 20 years on the job. The team is working on a streak of 20-straight NCAA Regional appearances and until last year, the lowest they had finished was 11th, but in 2007 the team struggled as well, finishing in a tie for 16th. So the Rebels are missing the NCAA Finals for the second-straight year, and just the 3rd time in those 20 years. The Rebels shot a stunning 23-over par total in the second round that was 28 shots behind USC, the leader by five shots over Oregon. Golfweek editor and Las Vegas resident Lance Ringler is at the event and says that the course is very hard, and all five Rebels found that out in the second round. "A team can afford to have two play bad, but all five and you are done at Gold Mountain," Ringler wrote in an email. The Rebels fired a 20-over par total in the final round.
Sophomore Brett Kanda led all Rebel players with a tie for 71st. Kanda shot a final-round 1-over 73 and finished the tournament at 12-over 228. Other Rebel players (final-round scores, places and totals): junior Seung-su Han (78, T101st, 16-over 232), senior Matt Kinsinger Pictured, 81, T106th, 17-over 233), freshman Ji Moon (77, T106th, 17-over 233) and sophomore Eddie Olson (80, T111th, 18-over 234).
The Rebels were the sixth-seed in the event and held a 27-6-1 head-to-head record against teams in the event.
The Rebels entered the event ranked 15th in the nation, but got out of the gate slowly with an opening round of 13-over par that was only good enough for 11th place. Then came the stunning fall on Friday.
To put this finish in more perspective, the Rebels have won four NCAA regionals and finished in the top five a total of 15 times, but haven't been in the top five since 2003, when they finished in third place.
The top 10 teams moved on to the NCAA Finals.
The Rebels had finished in the top five of their last nine events heading into the NCAA West Regionals, including two wins.