UNLV's Finkelstein Wins Las Vegas Collegiate Showdown

 

BOULDER CITY, Nev. – Senior Dana Finkelstein entered the final round of the last home tournament of her career disappointed. She had not played as well as she wanted to and knew she had to play better

“The first round was good but the second day I couldn’t get into a grove,” Finkelstein said. “I escaped with a 73 and I thought I still might have a shot at a win, but I knew that I needed a career round and some help.”

She entered the final round nine shots off the lead and used her disappointment in the second round as fuel for the final round. She shot a career-low 7-under-par 65 and turned in a career-best tournament score of 9-under 207 (69-73-65) en route to capturing her second win of the fall and the fourth of her career.

“I was really feeling it after the front nine,” Finkelstein said. “San Diego State’s Haleigh Krause was still one shot ahead but then she bogeyed 10 and we were all tied. I knew I just needed a few more birdies and pars out of her and it happened.”

She completed a 12-stroke turnaround and finished three-strokes ahead of Krause, who turned in 6-under 210 (65-68-77), and five-strokes ahead of Minnesota’s Celia Kuenster, who cared a 4-under 212 (76-68-68). Fresno State’s Madchen Ly (71-75-67) and UC Riverside’s Brittani Ferraro tied for fifth at 3-under 213.

“Dana played fantastic today,” head coach Amy Bush-Herzer said. “She wasn’t happy with her second round and used that energy in the final round. She needed to play flawless to get the win and that’s what she did.”

Finkelstein’s performance helped No. 13 UNLV women’s golf earn a third place finish and turn it its fifth best tournament score in program history at 4-over 868 (289-295-284). The Rebels finished five-shots behind co-champions San Diego State (281-291-291) and Minnesota (295-290-278), who tied at 1-under 863.

The Rebels finished their lone home tournament of the season strong. Freshman Mackenzie Raim sank three consecutive birdies on the back nine, sophomore Vivian Hsuan Chen hit an eagle in her final hole and Finkelstein tied for a tournament-high 15 birdies, seven of which came in the final round.

"It’s disappointing not to win, but I was really excited with how our team finished, especially today in the final round," Bush-Herzer said. "We have had an outstanding fall and we look to carry that momentum over into the spring season."

Also competing for the Rebels in the LVCS was freshman Harley Dubsky, who finished 14th at 2-over 218 (74-69-75), Chen tied for 30th at 6-over 222 (72-77-73) and senior Mayko Chwen Wang (74-77-76) and Raim (80-76-71) tied for 62nd at 11-over 227. Freshman Avery French and senior Marguerite Swearingen competed as individuals and French finished tied for 25th at 5-over 221 (75-74-72) and Swearingen tied for 53rd at 10-over 226 (75-80-71).

The conclusion of the LVCS marks the end of the Rebels’ fall season. This fall UNLV won the team championship at the Betsy Rawls Invitational and turned in back-to-back runner up finishes in its other three tournaments.

“We really look to build off of this momentum moving into the spring,” Finkelstein said. “Obviously it was a little disappointing to finish third at our home event, but that will only fuel our fire for the spring.”

The Rebels will resume its season on Feb. 8-10, 2015 at the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge in Palos Verdes, Calif.