Las Vegas, Nevada (March 13, 2012)–The glory days appear to be in swing for the UNLV Men's golf team. The Rebels won the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters over the weekend and the victory boosted the team into the top 10 in the rankings. UNLV won their home event for the sixth time since 2002, when the event moved to their new home course, the private Southern Highlands Golf Club, a former host course for the PGA Tour. UNLV is now seventh in the Golfweek rankings. — By Brian Hurlburt with UNLV press release.
It marked the team's fifth win in seven events this season for UNLV. The No. 7 national ranking for the Rebels marks their highest Golfweek ranking since being No. 6 in 2007. UNLV won the national championship in 1998 but has had some challenging seasons over the last few years.
Texas is the nation's No. 1 team, followed by Auburn, Alabama, UCLA, Cal, USC and then UNLV. Oregon, Washington and Georgia Tech round out the top 10. The Rebels finished the 54-hole Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters at 8-over par 872 and won by a shot over California. The Bears shot a final-round 12-over 300 to finish at 9-over for the event. UCLA finished third at 18-over, followed by Texas A&M in fourth at 21-over and Stanford was fifth at 24-over.
UNLV sophomore Blake Biddlewon medalist honors for the first time in his career as he fired a 3-under 69 on Sunday to finish at 4-under 212 for the tournament. He finished two shots ahead of Texas A&M's Tyler Dunlap and UCLA's Pontus Widegren, who both tied for second at 2-under 214. Biddle's final round consisted of seven birdies and four bogeys.
"It was a tough day out there with the weather," UNLV head coach Dwaine Knight said. "It was windy, the greens were really tough and the course played extremely difficult. It was nice to battle like we did. We hung in there and Blake made a big putt on the last hole to win it for us, which was very exciting. I am really proud of the way the guys played."
The 15-team, 78-individual tournament featured 11 of the nation's top-25 teams according to the GolfStat rankings. UNLV will be back in action March 16-17 at the National Invitational Tournament in Tucson, Ariz. PHOTO: Steve Spatafore, UNLV.