UNLV MEN’S GOLF NEWS: Rebels Victorious At ASU Thunderbird Invitational



Rebels earn first victory of the season with one-shot win over top-ranked California

The UNLV men’s golf team fired a final-round-low 7-under-par 277 on Sunday to capture the team title by one shot over top-ranked California at the ASU Thunderbird Invitational. The 18-team, 100-individual tournament was played at Karsten Golf Course (par 71, 7,013 yards).

The team victory was the first for UNLV in nine events this season and its fifth top-four finish of the year.

“This was a great win for us,” said head coach Dwaine Knight. “I am very proud of the guys, this was an important win for the program. A huge team win. Our attitude, effort and focus was there this week. It was a total team victory.”

The Rebels finished the 54-hole event at 9-under 843, while California, which shot a final-round 6-under 278, was second at 8-under. San Diego finished third at 5-under, followed by New Mexico in fourth at 2-under and San Diego State in fifth at even-par.

Oregon State’s Nick Chianello won medalist honors by a shot at 11-under 202 after a final-round 1-under 70. Iowa State’s Scott Fernandez and California Brandon Hagy both tied for second at 10-under.

The Rebels were led by sophomore Kurt Kitayama and senior Kevin Penner, who both tied for fifth at 6-under 207. Kitayama was 2-under during the final round, while Penner shot 4-under. Penner’s final round consisted of six birdies and a double bogey, while Kitayama also had six birdies, with two bogeys and a double bogey.

Other UNLV players: sophomore Carl Jonson tied for 20th at 1-over 214 after a final-round 1-over 72, junior Nicholas Maruri tied for 41st at 5-over 218 after a final-round 2-under 69, and freshman AJ McInerney tied for 58th at 9-over 222 after a final-round 5-over 76.

UNLV will be back in action on Saturday at the Morris Williams Invitational in Austin, Texas.

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