UNLV looks for strong finish in NCAA Golf Regional final round

After two rounds, the 20th-ranked UNLV men’s golf team is 9-over and in third place on Tuesday, 16 shots behind top-ranked Oklahoma State, at the NCAA Columbus (Ohio) Golf Regional at Ohio State’s Scarlet Course. Twelfth-ranked Illinois is second at 6-under.

More importantly, the Rebels are 13 shots in front of sixth-place Penn State. The top five teams advance to the NCAA Championships May 25-30 at Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

“We are in good shape, but we need to have a Rebel round (Wednesday),” UNLV coach Dwaine Knight said. “We take a lot of pride in trying to have the best round of the tournament on the final day. We’ll be playing in the featured pairing again with Illinois and Oklahoma State, and I think that will help a lot. We just need to be patient and not force it.”

The Rebels were led by Junior Harry Hall who was tied for fifth individually at 2-under 140. Senior Shintaro Ban, the Mountain West player of the year, was in ninth at even par, 142.

Nick Hardy and Michael Feagles from Illinois and Mathew Wolf and Zach Bauchou from Oklahoma State were tied for the lead at 3-under, 139.

“We played really well the first day and I was pleased with that and I thought we were very competitive and right there with Oklahoma State and Illinois,” Knight said. “In the second round, I thought our guys really struggled trying to get the ball in the hole. It seemed like everything was difficult for us and we were unable to create birdies like we have been doing throughout the spring season.

“It’s a very difficult course, but there are birdies out there. Every shot is important when you are trying to go the NCAA championship. If we keep our heads in it, we should be fine.”

More Rebels: Follow all of our UNLV coverage online at reviewjournal.com/Rebels and @RJRebels on Twitter.

Freelance writer Brian Hurlburt can be reached at bhurlburt5@gmail.com or @LVGolfInsider.

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