Las Vegas, Nevada (March 7, 2013)–The Masters of College Golf is the saying used to describe the UNLV Men's Golf team home tournament. And that is again the case because nine of the top 10 teams in the country will play in Las Vegas at Southern Highlands Golf Club March 8-10. The headliner of the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters is the top-ranked California and second-ranked UCLA. UNLV, ranked 35th, is the defending champion. Rebel junior Blake Biddle is the defending individual champion. –By Brian Hurlburt
The public is encouraged to attend the tournament and admission is free for this prestigious event that annually lures the country’s best college golf teams and each year ranks at or near the top of the collegiate golf schedule in terms of strength of field.
The 2013 edition of the SHCM may have the strongest field yet as nine of the top-10 teams in the country are part of the 15 teams participating. In addition, 12 of the nation’s top 20 are included, all 15 teams are ranked in the top 35, according to Golfstat, and 14 of the top-30 ranked individuals in the country are scheduled to play.
Participating teams include Alabama (6), California (1), Duke (9), Florida (8), Georgia (11), Georgia Tech (10), New Mexico State (5), Oklahoma (32), Oklahoma State (13), Stanford (12), Texas (4), Texas A&M (27), UCLA (2), UNLV (35) and USC (7). The 54-hole tournament will be played over three days, with tee times beginning at 8 a.m. each morning off the No. 1 and No. 10 holes.
UNLV is the defending team champion and Rebel junior Blake Biddle is the defending individual medalist. UNLV won the team title by a shot last year with a score of 8-over 872, and Biddle won the event by two strokes at 4-under 212. Since the event was moved to Southern Highlands in 2002, UNLV has won the title outright five times and in 2010 tied for first with UCLA.
UNLV’s lineup this weekend will consist of senior Kevin Penner, who is ranked as the 25th-best individual in the country, Biddle, freshman AJ McInerney, sophomore Carl Jonson and sophomore Kurt Kitayama. Sophomore David Flynn, senior Arthur Kim, freshman Zane Thomas and junior Nicholas Maruri will compete as individuals.
UNLV has played in six events this season, recording four top-four finishes or better. The Rebels are coming off a sixth-place showing in their first tournament of the spring – the John Burns Intercollegiate, played in Hawaii, Feb. 20-22.
Biddle is the only Rebel to record an individual win this year (Wimberly Intercollegiate in October), recording three top-10 finishes, including two top-fives. Penner finished in the top-10 in his first four events of the season, including two top-fives and a second-place showing at the PING Golfweek Preview Invitational (in September), while McInerney also had a second-place finish at the Jack Nicklaus Invitational (in October).
Live scoring of the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters will be available on the internet courtesy of Golfstat through a link at UNLVRebels.com.