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Rebels To Tee Up Spring Season

Jan. 28, 2011

LAS VEGAS ( - The UNLV men's golf team will open its spring season at the Arizona Invitational, which will be played Monday and Tuesday, Jan. 31-Feb. 1, at Arizona National Golf Club (par 71, 6,793 yards) in Tucson, Ariz.

The Rebels played five tournaments as a team in the fall, finishing in the top five on three occasions. The team's best finish was second place (out of 15 teams) at the Herb Wimberly Intercollegiate in New Mexico in October.

Playing at the Arizona Invitational next week for UNLV will be junior Derek Ernst, sophomore Kevin Penner, freshman Blake Biddle, senior Jeremiah Wooding and junior Colby Smith. Freshman Max Kraemer will play as an individual. Ernst led the Rebels in the fall with a scoring average of 72.50 and had two top-10 finishes.

"We are excited to get our spring season going," UNLV head coach Dwaine Knight said. "Derek had a good fall and ended with a strong showing at the All-American - I think he is ready to have a break-out spring. Also, having Kevin back in the lineup gives us a little more depth. He was a mainstay last year during our drive to the national finals. Blake, as a freshman, played all five tournaments in the fall and he is a lot more comfortable.

"We are looking forward to getting to Tucson and to see where we are as a team."

The 54-hole tournament will consist of 36 holes played on Monday and 18 on Tuesday, with 16 teams scheduled to compete. The field consists of host Arizona (two squads), BYU, California, Fresno State, Hartford, New Mexico, Pacific, Pepperdine, San Diego State, Texas-San Antonio, UC Irvine, UC Riverside, UNLV, Utah and UTEP.



The tournament will have shotgun starts each day with play scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. MST.

Last year's Arizona Invitational was won by California (269-274-280=823, -29), while the individual title went to Arizona's Rich Saferian (68-66-66=200, -13). UNLV finished seventh at last year's event (292-273-283=848, -4) and was led by Smith's tie for seventh place (71-66-70=207, -6). Ernst tied for 29th (71-69-73=213, E).

Live scoring of the tournament will be available off a link at, courtesy of Golfstat.

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