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UNLV set to host ‘Masters of college golf’

Updated February 26, 2019 - 2:10 pm

Seven of the country’s top 17 men’s college golf teams will compete in the Southern Highlands Collegiate from Sunday through March 5 at Southern Highlands.

The tournament, hosted by UNLV, will be livestreamed internationally for the first time through a partnership between USA Today Network and Golfweek. It’s the second college golf event to be livestreamed via the far-reaching partnership.

Another first is the individual champion will receive an exemption into the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open from Oct. 3 to 6 at TPC Summerlin.

It had been an ongoing goal for UNLV coach Dwaine Knight and assistant Philip Rowe to secure a TV partner for the tournament, which has been nicknamed “the Masters of college golf” because of the depth of the field.

“This year, we are going to a whole new level,” Knight said. “It’s a great step for us with the new event coverage, and the Shriners exemption is the ultimate opportunity for a college player.”

Golfweek’s third-ranked team, Southern California, leads the field, followed by No. 4 Georgia Tech, No. 6 Oklahoma, No. 10 Texas, No. 11 California, No. 13 Pepperdine and No. 17 Auburn. Also in the field are UNLV, Texas Tech, Illinois, Florida, UCLA, Stanford, Texas Christian and Central Florida.

Top-ranked individuals expected to play are Cal’s Colin Morikawa (No. 2), defending champion Justin Suh of USC (No. 4), 16th-ranked Luke Schniederjans of Georgia Tech and 17th-ranked Riley Casey of Oklahoma. UNLV will be anchored by 54th-ranked Harry Hall, a senior who won twice during the fall season.

“We felt it was only fitting that the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open play an integral part of the event by offering an exemption to the winner of the individual competition,” said Patrick Lindsey, Shriners Hospitals for Children Open executive director. “It is this next generation of aspiring PGA Tour stars that help build the momentum and energy for the Shriners Open.”

Nominate Hall of Famers

The deadline to submit nominations for the 2019 Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame class is March 20 at LasVegasGolfHOF.com.

Weekly deal

Buy the Golf Summerlin (Eagle Crest, Highland Falls, Palm Valley courses) loyalty card for $20 and get reduced rates, a free range bucket with each round and a free round after eight paid rounds.

Stars on, off course

Retired LPGA Tour star Annika Sorenstam hit at Topgolf Las Vegas last week. She won 72 events.

The golf notebook appears Wednesdays. Freelance writer Brian Hurlburt 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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