Many reading this weekly golf notebook may not know who Dana Finkelstein is. That’s OK, but her name should be remembered from here on out. UNLV coaches remember her as “the most accomplished player in UNLV women’s golf history.”
All Finkelstein accomplished during her career was earn three Mountain West Player of the Year awards, two UNLV Sportswoman of the Year awards and so many other awards that there isn’t nearly enough space to list them.
As a senior in 2014-15, she was ranked fourth nationally by Golfweek, won a UNLV scholar athlete award and was named a first-team All-American, only the second Lady Rebels golfer to earn that honor. As a Rebel, she won five individual titles and played for Team USA in the World University Golf Championships.
Now Finkelstein is looking to follow in the footsteps of fellow Rebel Therese Koelbaek and play full time on the LPGA Tour. Koelbaek, now O’Hara after her recent marriage, earned exempt status for the 2015 season but didn’t successfully keep her playing privileges after a disappointing rookie season last year.
Finkelstein, known as an extremely consistent player, turned professional last summer and soon thereafter won a Cactus Tour event. Then, in December, she qualified for the LPGA Symetra Tour, which is one step below the big leagues and offers a chance for players to earn exempt status for the 2017 LPGA Tour.
There’s a steely resolve in the voice of Finkelstein when she speaks about the future.
“I believe I will be successful and play on the LPGA Tour full time,” said Finkelstein. “I am committed to my goal, and I will do whatever it takes to reach it. My time at UNLV was special, and I am proud of my career, and what the team and I accomplished during my four years as a Rebel.”
Playing professional golf on the mini-tours is expensive. Finkelstein is seeking sponsors and/or investors to help. Finkelstein is offering “shares,” and investors will earn their money back and could enjoy a positive return if she is successful.
To save on expenses, Finkelstein moved back in with her parents in Arizona but hopes to return to Las Vegas. Email email@example.com if you are interested.
Deal of the week
Coyote Springs, designed by Jack Nicklaus, offers free afternoon replays with a paid morning round.
PGA Tour course to host UNLV fundraiser
TPC Summerlin annually hosts the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open PGA Tour event, but on April 11, it hosts a UNLV Professional Golf Management fundraiser.
Proceeds go to three student scholarship endowments (Matthew S. Anderson, SusanAnn Sky Holes, Southwest Section PGA) that are in place. The tournament is a pro-am format with each team of four playing with a current PGM student or alumnus. To play or donate, email the PGM director at Christopher.Cain@unlv.edu.
Stars on, off course
Qualifiers are taking shots Sunday for $10 million on the par 3, 15th island green of the Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort. Chris McDonald, an actor and golfer of “Happy Gilmore” fame, is the host of the private event being live-streamed at urshow.tv.
Natalie Gulbis was the keynote speaker last Thursday during the Women’s Leadership Conference Women Inspiring Women presentation at ARIA.
Around Vegas golf
Ethan Bozner and Danielle Oberlander won the Recruit Look Junior Tour event at Las Vegas Golf Club.
The net division champs of the SNGA Summerlin Amateur Championship were Al Keuker, super senior, and Brian McShane, senior.
The golf notebook appears every Thursday. Freelance writer Brian Hurlburt is a two-time author who has covered golf in Las Vegas for more than two decades. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter: @LVGolfInsider
Sunday-Monday: UNLV women’s golf at Arizona Wildcat Invitational (Tucson, Ariz.)
March 20: Boulder Creek Invitational, Golf Channel Am Tour
March 21: Movers, Shakers and Money Makers Pro-Am, Las Vegas Country Club
March 23: SNGA Tour at Wildhorse, State Amateur Qualifier No. 1
March 24-25: LVJGA Challenge, Los Prados
March 24-26: UNLV men’s golf at The Goodwin, Stanford, Calif.
March 29: Rebel Athletic Fund Scholarship Classic, Southern Highlands
March 30:Cystic Fibrosis event, DragonRidge Country Club
April 1-2: UNLV women’s golf at DAC/SMU Invitational, Dallas
April 2-3: SNGA Four-Ball Championship, Revere
April 9-10: UNLV men’s golf at Robert Kepler Invitational, Columbus, Ohio
April 11: UNLV Professional Golf Management Fundraiser, TPC Summerlin
April 12: SNGA Tour, Reflection Bay
April 16: Southwest Open at The Ranch, Golf Channel Am Tour
May 9: Epicurean Charitable Foundation Inaugural Golf Classic, Red Rock CC