No. 25 Rebels Win Carmel Cup Championship|
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PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (UNLVRebels.com) - The No. 25 UNLV men's golf team won the 2013 Carmel Cup Championship with a 4.5-1.5 match-play win over Vanderbilt on Sunday at Pebble Beach Golf Links.
Vanderbilt is receiving votes in the Golf World/NIKE Golf Coaches Poll, as were the other two teams competing in the event - Arizona and Texas Tech. UNLV finished Saturday's two-round stroke-play portion of the tournament in first place at 8-over-par 728, while Vanderbilt's score was 730, putting the two squads against each other in match play for the title.
UNLV junior Carl Jonson, sophomore AJ McInerney, freshman Chris Tuulik and junior Kurt Kitayama all recorded victories on Sunday, while freshman Taylor Montgomery finished his match all square. Sophomore Zane Thomaswas the only Rebel to lose his match.
"I am really proud of the guys," said UNLV head coach Dwaine Knight. "It was a tough day today, but we sure played well. It is a great way to start our season. We got the victory in medal play and then won in match play, which was really pleasing.
"That course (Pebble Beach) played pretty difficult today. It is a great course, obviously. Vanderbilt was a strong opponent and very much like us (players 1-5). We didn't get off to the greatest start today, but we hung in there and had a great finish. It was an important experience for our guys to play match play since that is what is needed when you get down to the final eight at the national championship. This was really big for our team."
Tuulik captured UNLV's most decisive result of the day defeating Maathias Schwab 5 and 4, while Jonson defeated Hunter Stewart and Kitayama won over Zachary Herr by identical scores of 2 and 1. McInerney finished 2 up on John Voetsch, while Montgomery's match was vs. Ben Fogler. Thomas fell to Charlie Ewing, 6 and 5.
This win in the Rebels' season-opening tournament comes on the heels of their "Elite Eight" appearance at the NCAA Championship in June, when they lost in a sudden-death playoff that came down to one hole against Georgia Tech.
Last year was the first time that UNLV advanced to the match play portion of the NCAA Championship (current format was introduced in 2009). The 2013 NCAA finals were UNLV's 18th all-time appearance and marked its 25th straight NCAA Regional tournament, which is the record for most consecutive years qualifying for NCAA postseason play.
UNLV has recorded 10 top-eight finishes at the NCAA Championship in its history, which includes a national title and a runner-up finish.
The Rebels will be back in action Sept. 27-28 at the William H. Tucker Invitational in Albuquerque, N.M.