Las Vegas, Nevada (March 11, 2014)–There's a reason why UNLV's home golf event is referred to as the Masters of college golf. The Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters annually brings the best players and teams together for one of–if not the–top college tournaments of the year. The Rebels won the event for the seventh time in 10 years as they defeated perennial power Stanford by two shots this past weekend. "Wow," said UNLV Hall of Fame Golf Coach Dwaine Knight as he lifted the winning trophy. The Rebels earned golf team of the week by Golfweek by virtue of the victory. –By Brian Hurlburt.
"Wow, just a big wow," said Knight, a member of the Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame in addition to the Golf Coaches Association of America Hall of Fame. "To come away with a win knowing what we were facing this week with the quality of the field and how tough the course plays, I am very proud of the guys. With AJ (McInerney) and Nicholas (Maruri) being out, the effort was very special because some guys really had to step up. That isn't easy to do when you are going against the nation's best. It's not often that something like that comes to fruition, but this time it did and it was very special."
Southern Highlands is a beautiful and challenging course that was designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr. and Jr., and also serves as the home course of the Rebels. The home course definitely has helped the Rebels but they still have to execute shots under tough conditions and pressure to win against the field that included seven of the top-ranked teams in the country and 15 of the top 20 according to Golfweek.
UNLV finished with a 54-hole total of 22-over 886, while Stanford and Oklahoma State both finished two shots back at 24-over 888. Stanford also shot 6-over on Sunday, while Oklahoma State turned in a 1-under 287. Alabama and UCLA rounded out the top five as they both tied for fourth at 33-over.
Individually, Stanford's Patrick Rodgers successfully defended his individual title at the tournament and won this year's event by two shots at 1-over 217. He shot a final-round 2-over 74. There was a six-way tie for second place that included UNLV junior Kurt Kitayama at 3-over 219. Kitayama was 1-under 71 during the final round. UNLV junior Carl Jonson also finished in the top 10 as he carded a 4-over 220 for the tournament, which put him in a tie for eighth. He shot even-par 72 during the final round.
Other Rebel scores: freshman Taylor Montgomery tied for 17th at 7-over 223 after a final-round 3-over 75, sophomore Zane Thomas finished 33rd at 11-over 227 after a final-round 7-over 79 and freshman Redford Bobbitt tied for 72nd at 24-over 240 after a final-round 4-over 76. There were a total of 81 individuals competing. It was the second win of the season for the Rebels.