Spotlight: UNLV Golf
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Men’s and women’s teams making headway in the MWC
No. 6 UNLV will play in the two-day PING Cougar Classic starting on Friday at Riverside Country Club in Provo, Utah.
The Rebels are coming off a fourth-place finish at the ASU Thunderbird Invitational that took place on April 6-7 in Tempe, Ariz. at Karsten Golf Course.
Derek Ernst took home top individual honors in the field, shooting 9-under for the weekend for his fifth top-five finish this year.
California won the invitational by shooting a collective score of 17-under after shooting 10-under in the final round. San Diego State and New Mexico tied for second at 9-under, followed by UNLV at 2-under for fourth.
Blake Biddle tied for 20th at 3-under and Carl Johnson had a tournament score of 2-under to be the only other two UNLV players that finished under par for the tournament.
The Rebels finished second in last year’s PING Classic at 13-under, finishing behind MWC foe Colorado State, who won the tournament with a collective score of 17-under. The Rams closed out the tournament by shooting 13-under on the final day.
Ernst, Biddle and Kevin Penner each finished under par in last year’s tournament with Penner taking the lowest score amongst the three at 8-under.
Last year’s field showcased 18 teams but barring any late changes, UNLV will be one of eight teams competing in this year’s event. MWC squads Boise State, Air Force, Colorado State and Wyoming are in the field, along with Southern Utah, Utah State and BYU.
This will be the final tournament that UNLV takes part in before the three-day MWC tournament, stretching from May 4-6 in Tucson, Ariz. at Tucson National Golf Club.
Two UNLV women’s golf freshmen received Mountain West Conference honors before the MWC tournament got underway this weekend.
Mayko Chwen Wang and Dana Finkelstein were named Co-MWC Freshmen of the Year for the 2012 season, marking the first time in conference history that the award was given to teammates.
Wang and Finkelstein are also the fourth and fifth Lady Rebels to earn the award, joining Sunny Oh (2002-03), Da Sol Chung (2005-06) and Therese Koelbaek (2007-08). Those three ended up becoming MWC Golfer of the Year before their careers at UNLV ended.
Finkelstein has accounted for four top-20 finishes this year, highlighted by a third-place finish at the UNLV Spring Invitational back in February. The 19-year-old native of Chandler, Ariz. is currently ranked 142nd in the GolfWeek rankings.
Wang, from Taipei, Taiwan, has averaged rounds of just under 76 this year, which ranks eighth in the MWC and has finished in the top-20 five times this year, with three coming consecutively.
The Lady Rebels finished second in the MWC Tournament with a combined score of 45-over, finishing five behind TCU, who finished at 40-over.
Wang finished at 16-over for the three-day tournament and Finkelstein recorded the lowest score for UNLV at 4-over.
Contact Danny Webster at email@example.com.