MW Men's Golf Championship Begins Friday

May 1, 2013

LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - The UNLV men's golf team will compete at the 2013 Mountain West Men's Golf Championship beginning on Friday, May 3, at the Catalina Course at OMNI Tucson National (par 71, 7,144 yards) in Tucson, Ariz.

The 2013 championship will mark the seventh consecutive year the tournament will be held at Tucson National. The first MW Championship was played in Palm Desert, Calif., in 2000, while the 2001-2006 events were held in Sunriver, Ore.

All nine Mountain West teams (Air Force, Boise State, Colorado State, Fresno State, Nevada, Reno, New Mexico, San Diego State, UNLV and Wyoming) will participate in the 54-hole championship. 18 holes will be played each day (Friday-Sunday), with tee times beginning at 7 a.m. PT.

UNLV won the inaugural MW Championship in 2000 and again in 2002, and will be looking for its third MW title this week. BYU won in 2001, New Mexico won the title four straight years from 2003-06, BYU won again in 2007, Colorado State won in 2008, TCU won in 2009, Colorado State again in 2010 and San Diego State is the two-time defending champion.

Individually, UNLV has had four MW champions with Michael Kirk claiming medalist honors in 2000, Ryan Moore in 2004, Eddie Olson in 2008 and Derek Ernst winning in 2011 in a playoff.

As a team, UNLV has finished in third place at the event in each of the past four years.

Competing for the Rebels at this year's MW Championship will be senior Kevin Penner, sophomore Kurt Kitayama, sophomore Carl Jonson, freshman AJ McInerney and junior Nicholas Maruri.

This will mark Penner's fourth MW Championship, while it will be the second for Kitayama, Jonson and Maruri. Penner's best finish at the event was a tie for seventh in 2011. He finished 13th last year and tied for 16th in 2010. Kitayama finished tied for 22nd last year, while Jonson tied for 17th and Maruri finished tied for 26th in 2011.

Live stats for the MW Championship will be available courtesy of Golfstat through a link on UNLVRebels.com. For more information on the MW Championships, visit TheMWC.com or its tournament central page: http://www.themwc.com/champ/13-mgolf-champ.html

The MW Championship will also be an opportunity for the Rebels to earn three more points in the Governor's Series, presented by NV Energy. The competition between UNLV and Nevada, Reno was established in October and is a head-to-head athletic and academic challenge between the longtime rivals. UNLV currently leads the competition 25.5-10.5, clinching the inaugural title last weekend with wins in men's tennis, women's golf and softball. Only 12 points remain available (men's golf, baseball, women's track & field, APR).

UNLV has recorded five top-five finishes in 10 events this season, including a victory at the ASU Thunderbird Invitational in April, along with two second-place finishes (Gene Miranda Falcon Invitational in September and Herb Wimberly Intercollegiate in October).

Penner and McInerney have each recorded runner-up finishes this season (Penner at the PING/Golfweek Preview Invitational in September and McInerney at the Jack Nicklaus Invitational in October).