NCAA MEN’S GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP BEGINS TUESDAY
Rebels to compete for team national title for 18th time in program history
The UNLV men’s golf team will compete at the 2013 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championship beginning on Tuesday, May 28, at the Capital City Club Crabapple Course (par 70, 7,320 yards) in Milton, Ga., which is a suburb of Atlanta.
UNLV won the national title in 1998 and finished second in 1996. Among its 17 previous appearances at the national finals, the Rebels have recorded nine top-eight finishes. This year marks the program’s first appearance at the national finals since 2010.
UNLV has also had individual success at the NCAA Championship with two national title winners – Warren Schutte in 1991 and Ryan Moore in 2004.
The 2013 NCAA Men’s Golf Championship features 30 teams, all of which had to finish in the top five at one of six regional sites to advance. It also includes six individuals who were the top finisher at each regional from teams that did not qualify.
The Rebels have been seeded 24th and will be paired for the first two rounds with 22nd-seed Kent State and 23rd-seed Oklahoma. They will tee off at the first hole beginning at 7:50 a.m. ET in Tuesday’s opening round and off No. 10 at 1:10 p.m. ET in Wednesday’s second round. Pairings and tee times for the first 36 holes are set by seed, and pairings for the final round of stroke play Thursday will be set by team score.
California is the top seed for the championship, followed by 2012 NCAA championship runner-up Alabama, UCLA, 2013 national champion Texas, Washington, New Mexico, Georgia Tech, Arkansas, TCU and Florida to round out the top 10. Seeds 11 through 20 are USC, Georgia, Florida State, North Florida, Illinois, Oklahoma State, LSU, Auburn, South Carolina and Texas A&M. Seeds 21 through 30 – Saint Mary’s, Kent State, Oklahoma, UNLV, UCF, Tennessee, Arizona State, Texas Tech, Coastal Carolina and Ball State.
Thirteen of the 15 teams that competed in the PING/Golfweek Preview Invitational in September at Crabapple have made the field for the NCAA Championship. Georgia Tech and California tied for first in that event, followed by Texas and UNLV (tied for third), UCLA, Washington, New Mexico, Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas, Kent State, Texas A&M and Florida State.
The 75th edition of the national championship will take place over six days, beginning May 28 when the 30 teams battle in 54 holes of stroke play, 18 holes each day over three days, followed by three days of match play competition culminating in the national championship match Sunday, June 2.
The 30 teams in the field have combined for 30 national team titles in the 75-year history of the championship.
The format for stroke play is each team fields five players, with the low four scores each day counting toward the team score. After 54 holes on Thursday, May 30, the individual national champion will be crowned, and the top eight schools in terms of team score are seeded for match play competition beginning Thursday, May 31.
In team match play, each of the five players on a team plays a match against a counterpart on the opposing team. Each individual match is worth a point for his team, and the team with the most points after the five matches are completed advances to the next round. Quarterfinal matches are set for Friday, May 31, with semifinals on Saturday, June 1, and the championship match Sunday, June 2.
NCAA.com will offer live web streaming of the championship beginning on the final day of stroke play Thursday, May 30, and during each day of match play.
In 12 tournaments this season, UNLV has recorded seven top-four finishes including three times in its last four events. Its lone team win of the season was at the ASU Thunderbird Invitational in Tempe, Ariz., in April, while it turned in three second-place showings (Gene Miranda Falcon Invitational in September; Herb Wimberly Intercollegiate in October and Mountain West Championship earlier this month).
UNLV finished fourth at the NCAA Columbus Regional on May 18, qualifying for nationals.
Competing for the Rebels this week will be senior Kevin Penner, sophomore Kurt Kitayama, sophomore Carl Jonson, freshman AJ McInerney and junior Nicholas Maruri.
Penner, who was honorable mention All-America last year, is the only member of this year’s Rebel roster with NCAA Championship experience. He finished tied for 64th in 2010 at The Honors Course, in Ooltewah, Tenn., while the Rebels finished tied for 21st as a team.
Penner, this year’s Mountain West individual champion, was recently named All-MW for the third straight year. Penner and McInerney have each recorded runner-up finishes this season (Penner at the PING/Golfweek Preview Invitational and McInerney at the Jack Nicklaus Invitational in October). Penner has turned in six top-10 finishes this season.