No. 4 Rebels Finish One Shot Back At NIT

March 17, 2012

TUCSON, Ariz. ( - The No. 4 UNLV men's golf team shot a final-round 1-under-par 287 on Saturday and finished in second place, one shot back at the National Invitational Tournament, which was played at Omni Tucson National Golf Club (par 72, 7,219 yards).

The second-place finish marked UNLV's seventh tournament this year finishing either first or second (out of eight total events). The Rebels have five team wins this season.

San Diego State shot a final-round 5-over 293, but held on for the win at 5-under 859. UNLV's 54-hole total was 4-under 860. The Rebels trailed SDSU by seven shots heading into Saturday's final round. SMU finished third at 1-under, followed by BYU in fourth at 5-over and Memphis in fifth at 7-over.

J.J. Spaun shot a 4-under 68 during the final round to finish at 15-under 201 for the tournament, winning medalist honors by four shots. BYU's Zachary Blair finished second at 11-under.

UNLV junior Kevin Penner led all Rebel players with a tie for third place at 2-under 214 after an even-par final round. Freshman Carl Jonson was also in the top 10 with a seventh-place finish at 1-under.

Other Rebel players: sophomore Blake Biddle finished tied for 12th at 1-over after a final-round 4-under, senior Derek Ernst also tied for 12th after a final-round 1-over, and freshman Kurt Kitayama tied for 30th at 8-over. Junior Arthur Kim played as an individual and tied for 23rd at 5-over.

The tournament featured 12 teams and 76 individuals. UNLV will be back in action April 6-7, at the ASU Thunderbird Invitational in Tempe, Ariz.