Las Vegas, Nevada (March 21, 2011)–The spring college golf season is in full swing, so to speak, and the UNLV men and women's golf teams are both playing tournaments this week. The women are under way at the Battle at Rancho Bernardo in San Diego while the men get underway Monday at the National Invitational Tournament in Tucson, Arizona. Both teams are coming off tough weeks at their home tournaments and looking to get back in the winner's circle. —Staff report and UNLV Sports Information.
The UNLV women’s golf team concluded action in the opening round standing in eighth place after shooting a team score of 16-over par. The Rebels, ranked 45th entering this week of action, were led by Therese Koelbaek on the day. Koelbaek turned in an even par round of 72 and is tied for sixth place and three shots back. After closing the front nine at 2-under par, Koelbaek bogyed the 11th, 14th and 15th holes to fall to 1-over before carding her third birdie of the day at the par-4 17th. “The players really seem to enjoy playing this golf course and we’re excited to not play in the rain today,” said first-year head coach Amy Bush.
“Ellis and Kat [Katerina] both played great today, shooting 75,” said Bush. “Everyone played the course as we had planned and that is helping us establish a lead over some great teams out here.” Katerina Prorokovaand Ellis Keenan both carded three-over rounds of 75 on the day and are tied for 26th. Prorokova turned in a 1-over 37 on the front following her lone birdie of the day on the par-4 ninth. Keenan got off to a slow start, carding bogies on the second and fifth holes before birdying the par-4 sixth. After bogeying the 10th, Keenan scored three birdies on the back nine, finishing the day with a team-high four. Alejandra Guacanemeand Bethany Glassford round of the Rebel five, carding rounds of 82 and 84 respectively.
The University of Arizona hosts the NIT event for the men which is a 54-hole tournament scheduled to be played over two days with 36 holes on Monday and 18 on Tuesday. Rounds are expected to begin at 7:30 a.m. each day. The 16-team field is made up of host Arizona (two squads), Colorado State, Indiana, Kansas, Kent State, New Mexico, Northern Iowa, SMU, TCU, Tulsa, UNLV, Utah, UTEP, Villanova and Wyoming.
TCU won last year’s NIT with a total of 12-under-par 852. Texas’ Dylan Frittelli won medalist honors at last year’s event with a 6-under 210. UNLV did not play in last year’s NIT, but it did compete in the event in 2009, finishing with a 1-under 863 and a fourth-place finish. Three Rebels who played in the 2009 event will play in this week’s tournament: juniors Derek Ernst and Colby Smith, and senior Jeremiah Wooding. Ernst finished tied for 18th at 2-over 218 in that event, Smith tied for 29th at 5-over 221 and Wooding tied for 73rd at 16-over 232. Other UNLV players competing this week are sophomore Kevin Penner and freshman Blake Biddle. At the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters, UNLV’s last tournament, which it hosted March 11-13, the Rebels finished seventh. UNLV has played in eight events this year, turning in five top-five finishes, including two second-place finishes. Click to UNLVRebels.com for all UNLV golf information.