UNLV's Ernst Wins ASU Thunderbird Invitational Individual Title

April 7, 2012

TEMPE, Ariz. (UNLVRebels.com) - The No. 2 UNLV men's golf team shot a final-round 4-under-par 280 on Saturday and finished in fourth place at the ASU Thunderbird Invitational, which was played at Karsten Golf Course (par 71, 7,026 yards).

UNLV senior Derek Ernst earned medalist honors at 9-under 204 for his first individual victory of the season and fourth of his career. It was his fifth top-five finish in nine events this season.

California won the team title at 17-under 835 after a final-round-low 10-under 274. San Diego State and New Mexico both tied for second at 9-under, followed by the Rebels at 2-under 850. Washington rounded out the top five at 4-over. The tournament featured 17 teams and 95 individuals.

Ernst shot a final-round 3-under 68, which included five birdies and two bogeys, to win the event by two shots over Arizona State's Austin Quick, who finished second at 7-under.

Other Rebel individuals: sophomore Blake Biddle tied for 20th at even par after a final-round 3-under 68, freshman Carl Jonson finished tied for 23rd at 2-under 215 after a final-round 1-over 72, junior Kevin Penner tied for 33rd at 6-over 219 after a final-round 1-over 72 and freshman Kurt Kitayama tied for 70th at 16-over 229 after a final-round 6-over 77.

The individual title for Ernst marks the fourth of the season for a Rebel golfer. Biddle won the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters, while Penner won the Wyoming Desert Intercollegiate and tied for first at the Gene Miranda Falcon Invitational.

UNLV will be back in action April 27-28, at the PING Cougar Classic in Provo, Utah.