MW Men's Golf Championship Begins Friday
May 3, 2012
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - The No. 7 UNLV men's golf team will compete at the 2012 Mountain West Men's Golf Championship beginning on Friday, May 4, at the Catalina Course at OMNI Tucson National (par 71, 7,144 yards) in Tucson, Ariz.
The 2012 championship will mark the sixth consecutive year the tournament will be held at Tucson National. The first MW Championship was played in Palm Desert, Calif., in 2000, while the 2001-06 events were held in Sunriver, Ore.
All eight Mountain West teams (Air Force, Boise State, Colorado State, New Mexico, San Diego State, TCU, UNLV and Wyoming) will participate in the 54-hole championship. 18 holes will be played each day (Friday, Saturday, 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 won again in 2010 and San Diego State won the event last year in 2011.
Individually, UNLV has had four MW champions with Michael Kirk claiming medalist honors in 2000, Ryan Moore in 2004, Eddie Olson in 2008 and current UNLV senior Derek Ernst winning last year on the third hole of a three-way playoff.
As a team, UNLV has finished in third place at the event in each of the past three years.
Competing for the Rebels at this year's MW Championship will be Ernst, junior Kevin Penner, sophomore Blake Biddle and freshmen Carl Jonson and Kurt Kitayama. This will mark Ernst's fourth MW Championship. In addition to last year's individual title, he finished tied for fifth in 2010 and tied for 13th in 2009. Penner is playing in his third MW Championship, as he tied for seventh last year and tied for 16th in 2010. Biddle tied for 17th last year as a freshman.
UNLV had an incredible regular season this year, recording five wins and two second-place finishes in 10 events. The five team wins ranks second in program history (also won five tournaments in 1998-99). The Rebels have also had four individuals win tournament crowns this year: Ernst won the ASU Thunderbird Invitational, Biddle won the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters, and Penner won both the Wyoming Desert Intercollegiate and the Falcon Invitational. UNLV has climbed as high as No. 2 in the national rankings this year.
UNLV holds the MW Championship record for the largest margin of victory, which was 23 shots in 2000. Ernst's second-round score of 64 last year tied the MW Championship record for lowest individual single round with three others.
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.