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UNLV golfer awarded spot in LPGA tournament at Shadow Creek

McKenzi Hall has spent the past three years playing college golf at UNLV while working on her business marketing degree.

In a few weeks, she’ll find herself teeing it up against Nelly Korda, Celine Boutier, Lydia Ko and the other top women in the professional game.

Hall has been awarded one of two sponsor exemptions into the T-Mobile Match Play set for Shadow Creek the first week of April. She’ll join 95 others chasing a title in the revamped tournament that will combine three days of stroke play with two days of match play.

“This is a great opportunity for me to compete against some of the world’s best golfers, and I can’t wait to get out to Shadow Creek to play in front of my family and friends,” Hall said.

Amy Bush-Herzer, Hall’s coach at UNLV, is excited for the opportunity for one of her star players. Hall had a stellar fall season for the Rebels, capturing her first individual collegiate title in September at the Dick McGuire Invitational in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

“She works really, really hard, and this will be a great learning opportunity for her,” Bush-Herzer said. “Winning in college is not easy and McKenzi proved that she can do that. I’m excited to see her give it a run.”

MGM Rewards officials have two sponsor exemptions to hand out for the tournament. They chose Hall for the first spot, one they targeted for a local student-athlete.

“For MGM to allow this, what a neat thing,” Bush-Herzer said. “It shows future recruits that a similar opportunity could be there for them as well.”

In addition to her win, Hall tied the program record for low round with an 8-under 64 at the Dick McGuire Invitational. She posted her career-low tournament score of 10 under at the Jim West Challenge in October. Hall is also a two-time WGCA All-American Scholar, two-time Mountain West Scholar-Athlete Award recipient and was named Academic All-Mountain West for the 2022-2023 season.

Hall has played Shadow Creek a few times during her time at UNLV, giving her some course knowledge for an event where her nerves are sure to be on alert. For now, she’s just looking forward to the experience.

“I’m grateful to MGM Resorts and the LPGA Tour for granting me this exemption,” Hall said.

Free golf for women

Five Iron Golf, an indoor facility that uses simulators for players to work on their games, is offering free golf for women on Wednesdays throughout Women’s History Month in March.

Five Iron has 24 locations across the country, including one in Las Vegas at Area 15.

Participants that attend the Gals of the Greens evening events will receive access to play, mingle and learn between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. every Wednesday, with roaming instruction from Five Iron coaches, exclusive membership and instruction offers, a free welcome drink and appearances by Five Iron female influencers.

More information is available at fiveirongolf.com or by calling the Las Vegas location at 1-800-513-5153.

Chip shots

*Circa is planning a massive viewing party in April for all four days of the Masters at Stadium Swim. General admission tickets start at $25. Luxury seating options such as daybeds and cabanas are also available at an additional price. Attendees must be 21 or over to attend.

*Alex Forristal won the championship flight Friday with a 2-over 74 at the Highland Falls Southern Nevada Golf Association Tour Series event. Other winners included Robert Futrell (Senior gross), Chris Cookson (Silver gross) and Noah Parker (all-ages net).

Greg Robertson covers golf for the Review-Journal. Reach him at grobertson@reviewjournal.com.

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