February 20, 2010 (Las Vegas, Nevada)–The No. 23 UNLV men’s golf team won the team title at the John A. Burns Intercollegiate on Friday by defeating Texas A&M in a playoff. It marked UNLV’s third team championship in seven tournaments this season and its fifth top-five finish of the year. The Rebels fired the low final round of the tournament with a 14-under-par 274 and after 54-holes found themselves tied with the defending national champions at 28-under 836. Texas A&M shot 12-under during the final round. UNLV defeated the Aggies on the first playoff hole to win the tournament.
BYU and California tied for third, 12 shots back at 16-under 848, while New Mexico rounded out the top five at 11-under. The tournament featured 15 teams. Texas A&M’s Andrea Pavan won medalist honors with a total of 12-under 204 after a final-round 7-under 65, but UNLV placed three individuals in the top five of the tournament. Derek Ernst shot 3-under 69 on Friday and finished in second place at 10-under 206, two shots off the lead. Brett Kanda tied for third at 9-under 207 after a 6-under 66 and Kevin Penner finished fifth at 8-under after also firing a final-round 6-under 66.
“We needed a big round today since we were four shots back after the second round,” UNLV head coach Dwaine Knight said. “Today it all came together for us. All three of our wins this year have been a little different and we have learned quite a bit from each one. The guys made some birdies at the end which got us into the tie and on the first playoff hole we shot 2-under, while they were 1-under. It was a fun way to get a win and was great to see the low scoring by several of our players as three of the five shot in the 60s today. It was a big win for us.”
Other Rebel players: Jeremiah Wooding shot a final-round 3-over 75 and finished tied for 36th at 2-over 218, while Colby Smith shot 1-over 73 and tied for 47th at 4-over 220. UNLV’s other titles this season occurred during the fall with wins at the William H. Tucker Invitational in Albuquerque, N.M., in September and at the Herb Wimberly Intercollegiate in Las Cruces, N.M., in October. UNLV’s next outing will be in Las Vegas as the Rebels will host the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters at Southern Highlands Golf Club, March 12-14.