Rebels Win Fourth Title Of Season

Feb. 26, 2012


PALM DESERT, Calif. ( - The No. 12 UNLV men's golf team shot a 5-under-par 283 in the second round and a 6-under 282 during the final round on Sunday to capture its fourth team title of the season at the Wyoming Desert Intercollegiate, which was hosted by the University of Wyoming and played at the Classic Club (par 72, 7,305 yards). It was UNLV's sixth tournament of the year.

The Rebels had five individuals finish in the top five, led by junior Kevin Penner, who captured medalist honors at the event for the second straight year. It was the first time that he finished in first place without a tie and it marked his second win of the season and third of his career. Penner won the event by one stroke as he finished at 7-under 209 after carding a second-round 3-under 69 and a final-round 1-over 73.

Rebel senior Derek Ernst finished in a three-way tie for second at 6-under 210 after shooting 70 in all three rounds. Sophomore Blake Biddle was the third Rebel in the top five as he finished in a three-way tie for fifth at 5-under 211 after a second-round even-par 72 and a final-round 5-under 67.

UNLV won the tournament by seven shots at 20-under 844. Texas Tech finished second at 13-under, followed by Auburn at 9-under, Saint Mary's at 3-under, and SMU and Texas A&M both tied for fifth at 2-under.

"Before the tournament, we talked about how the Palm Springs area has always been good to the Rebels," said UNLV head coach Dwaine Knight. "Chad Campbell and Charley Hoffman (former UNLV golfers) both won the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic on the PGA TOUR on this course, so to get a team win here is very special.

"I am proud of our guys. Our high score at any time this weekend was a 73, which is amazing on this course. We were concerned with our depth coming in, but everyone contributed. It is really the definition of a team win. I am very happy for Kevin getting another win here, Derek played great and so did Blake. This was a great field and now we have a lot of momentum going into our home tournament with some of the best teams in the country."

UNLV freshmen Kurt Kitayama and Carl Jonson finished tied for 17th and 27th, at 1-under and 1-over for the tournament, respectively.

Play was suspended during the second round early Saturday evening because of darkness and resumed Sunday morning. The tournament featured 24 teams and 120 individuals.

UNLV will be back in action on March 9-11 as it hosts the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters at Southern Highlands Golf Club in Las Vegas.