Las Vegas, Nevada (March 13, 2010)–Leave it to straight-shooting Hall-of-Fame UNLV Golf Coach Dwaine Knight to bring up a horrible competitive memory from the past to illustrate a point about the present. Following a wind-blown second round of the 2010 Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters, Knight referred to a devastating loss in the 1996 NCAA Championships to compare the playing conditions of his 2010 home tournament. In 1996, the Rebels, led by current PGA Tour champions Chris Riley and Chad Campbell, lost the national title by three strokes. LIVE SCORING.–By Brian Hurlburt and UNLV Staff.
"I am really proud of the guys,” said UNLV head coach Dwaine Knight. “Those were some really difficult playing conditions. The conditions reminded me of the final round at the 1996 NCAA Championships at The Honors Course in Tennessee. "To put it mildly, today was one tough round of golf. We feel very fortunate to have the lead and look forward to tomorrow's final round." The No. 14 UNLV men’s golf team shot the low round of the day in windy conditions to take the top spot on the leaderboard with a 9-over 297 on Saturday during the second round of play at Las Vegas golf course Southern Highlands Golf Club, which is the home course for the UNLV golf team.
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UNLV has a 36-hole total of 17-over 593 and leads the field by seven shots. UCLA is second at 24-over after a second-round 18-over score. Texas A&M is third at 26-over, followed by USC in fourth at 27-over, while Arizona State and Texas Tech are both tied for fifth at 32-over. Arizona State’s Jesper Kennegard and USC’s T.J. Vogel are the only individuals under par for the tournament and are tied for first at 1-under 143. Both players shot even par on Saturday.
TCU’s Johan de Beer is third at even-par 144, while UNLV’s Eddie Olson and UCLA’s Gregor Main are tied for fourth at 3-over. Olson shot 5-over 77 during the second round. Rebel teammate Brett Kanda is also in the top 10 as he fired a 1-over 73 during the second round and has a 36-hole total of 4-over 148 and is tied for sixth. The 1996 squad at Arizona State is the team which defeated UNLV for the team title. Tiger Woods earned the individual title that year.
The other Rebel players: Derek Ernst, Colby Smith and Jeremiah Wooding are all tied for 19th at 7-over. Ernst shot 5-over on Saturday, while Smith was 1-over and Wooding was 2-over. Kevin Penner, who is playing as an individual, is tied for 57th at 16-over after a second-round 11-over. The final round concludes on Sunday. Olsen's best finish heading into the home event was a tie for 21st at the Herb Wimberly Intercollegiate.
The 2010 version of the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters has featured 11 of the top-20 teams in the country, according to Golfstat, and all 15 teams are ranked in the top 50. Participating teams include (Golfstat ranking in parenthesis) Arizona (49), Arizona State (12), Florida (5), Georgia (15), Georgia Tech (14), New Mexico (46), Oklahoma State (1), TCU (29), Tennessee (27), Texas (4), Texas A&M (7), Texas Tech (16), UCLA (11), UNLV (18) and USC (17). UNLV Sports Information Director Andy Grossman contributed to this report.