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Dominant performance spurs excitement for UNLV women’s golf

Updated February 12, 2019 - 4:06 pm

Optimism was high for UNLV women’s golf as the spring season began this week. The Rebels’ best fall finish was seventh, but a dominating 39-stroke win at this week’s six-team Battle at Boulder Creek in Boulder City could be a sign of bigger things to come.

Next Monday and Tuesday, UNLV co-hosts the Rebel Beach Invitational with Long Beach State at Spanish Trail, the Rebels’ home course.

“Excitement is immediately what comes to mind as I think about the spring,” coach Amy Bush-Herzer said. “Watch out for this team in the regular season, but really watch out as the championship season begins. We have talked a lot about our culture and what legacy our three seniors want to leave on this program.

“They have committed to doing everything they can to win a fourth straight Mountain West title.”

Those seniors, Elizabeth Prior, Alyssa Getty and Shannon Oh, could cement themselves as the winningest class in UNLV women’s golf history with another conference title. It won’t be easy because the Rebels (No. 92) are currently ranked behind Mountain West foes San Jose State (33), San Diego State (50), Colorado State (69) and New Mexico (85).

In addition to the seniors, the Rebels are anchored by sophomore Polly Mack, the reigning Mountain West player of the year and freshman of the year. At Boulder Creek, Mack and Prior tied for first and freshman Veronica Joels, from Las Vegas, finished third. Weber State’s Gabby DeNunzio, a Coronado High product, tied fifth with Oh. Getty finished seventh.

Next week’s Rebel Beach Invitational is a step up in competition for the Rebels and features Arizona, the defending NCAA women’s golf champion, Virginia (16), Oregon (38) and Colorado (42).

“This year we have a very deep field at Spanish Trail and this event will continue to grow,” Bush-Herzer said. “Both USC (1) and UCLA (12) have asked to play next year and I think the Rebel Beach will become as high quality as the UNLV men’s Southern Highlands Collegiate, which is known as one of the best tournaments in the country.”

Primm champs

Champions of the Southern Nevada Golf Association Primm Amateur: Brandon Bauman (championship division), Darrel Lutey (senior), Kevin Parrish (silver), Jerry Algeo (net), Gordon Shiring (senior net) and Stephen Sitar (silver net).

Weekly deal

Beginning Thursday through the end of February, first responders with valid identification receive two-for-one rounds at Aliante, Legacy, Mountain Falls, Primm and Wildhorse.

Junior stars

The Southern Nevada Junior Golf Association 2018 sportspersons of the Year: Nicholas Kilgore and Natalie Cheong (ages 12-14), and Tyler Smerz and Victoria Estrada (15-18). The players of the year: Samantha Phelan and Vincent Kyle Forbes (12-14), and McKenzi Hall and Cameron Gambini (15-18).

Winners of the Tournament of Champions presented by the Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame at Las Vegas National: Cameron Huang (9-11), Kyle Guloy and Kirstin Angosta (12-14) and Yuki Moriyama and Riana Mission (15-18).

The golf notebook appears Wednesdays. 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 bhurlburt5@gmail.com or @LVGolfInsider.

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