Sparked by individual leader Carl Jonson, UNLV is tied for first place entering Saturday’s final round of the 54-hole NCAA Men’s Golf Regional at Columbus, Ohio.
The Rebels shot 8-over-par 292 on Friday for the second straight day on the par-71 Scarlet Course at Ohio State University Golf Club and is tied with South Carolina at 16-over 584. Stanford and Auburn are tied for third at 586.
The top five teams in the 13-team field advance to the NCAA Championships from May 28 to June 2 in Atlanta.
“I like where we’re at,” UNLV coach Dwaine Knight said. “We really hung in there. We have a good chance. But we need to finish strong and make sure we take advantage of the opportunity.”
Jonson, a sophomore from Bainbridge Island, Wash., is at 2-under 140 after shooting 1-over 72. He leads South Carolina’s Will Starke and Texas Tech’s Matias Dominguez by one stroke.
“Carl’s just playing with a lot of confidence right now,” Knight said. “He’s keeping the ball in play, and that’s the important thing here.”
Jonson was supported by junior Nicholas Maruri and freshman AJ McInerney, who each shot 73. Rounding out UNLV’s card was senior Kevin Penner’s 74. Sophomore Kurt Kitayama’s 77, which included a triple-bogey 6 at the par-3 No. 5, did not count in UNLV’s score.
“The course played really, really hard,” Knight said. “The greens were really difficult, and the pin placements were difficult. If you made a mistake, you paid a big price.
“Overall we had a good day. We got a lot of steady play and grinded it out. But we still have a lot of golf left to play.”