Sixteenth-Ranked Rebels Ready for NCAA Golf Championships

This year marks the 20th time in 29 years that the UNLV men’s golf team has qualified for the NCAA Golf Championships. This year the event is to be held May 26-31 at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Ill. The championship is being hosted by Northern Illinois University. It is also the second time in three years the Rebels have qualified. The Rebels won their NCAA regional and were one of five teams to advance to the finals. Check out this link for LIVE SCORING. For more info, visit UNLVRebels.com.

TEE TIMES: UNLV is scheduled to tee off from the first hole during the first round at 1:22 p.m. CTon Friday with Texas and Clemson, and will start round two on Saturday from the 10th tee at 8:02 a.m. CT.

The Golf Channel will televise parts of this year’s NCAA Championship live. Coverage schedule (all times Central):

Monday, May 29 – Final stroke-play round, pregame coverage from 3-4 p.m.; live coverage from 4-7 p.m.; postgame coverage from 7-8 p.m.

Tuesday, May 30 – Pregame coverage from 9-10:30 a.m.; live coverage (quarterfinals) from 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., post game coverage from 12:30-1:30 p.m.; pregame coverage from 3-3:30 p.m.; live coverage (semifinals) from 3:30-7 p.m.; post game coverage from 7-8 p.m.

Wednesday, May 31 – Pregame coverage from 12-3 p.m.; live coverage (championship match) from 3-7 p.m.; post game coverage from 7-8 p.m.

THE LINEUP: The Rebels’ five-man lineup for the NCAA Championship will be the same as it has been for the last four tournaments: junior John Oda, junior Shintaro Ban, sophomore Harry Hall, freshman Justin Kim and senior Taylor Montgomery. This lineup has won back-to-back tournament championships: the Mountain West Championship and the NCAA West Lafayette (Ind.) Regional. In the two tournaments prior, UNLV finished third at The Goodwin in Palo Alto, Calif., and fourth at The Boilermaker in West Lafayette, Ind..

THE FIELD: The 30 teams competing at the NCAA Championship are (in order of seed): USC, Oklahoma State, Vanderbilt, Stanford, Baylor, LSU, Illinois, Oregon, Kent State, Texas, Clemson, UNLV, Oklahoma, Virginia, UCF, Duke, Auburn, Ole Miss, Pepperdine, Arizona State, Florida State, North Carolina, Alabama, Lipscomb, Kennesaw State, Purdue, Jacksonville, New Mexico, Iowa State and Penn State. The six individuals are: Will Zalatoris (Wake Forest), Chandler Phillips (Texas A&M), Travis Trace (North Florida), Trent Wallace (Illinois State), Mason Overstreet (Arkansas) and Cam Norman (Troy).

UNLV’S CURRENT NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP EXPERIENCE: Among the five Rebels competing at this year’s NCAA Championship, two have played in the national  finals before. UNLV tied for 26th at the 2015 NCAA Championship, which was its last appearance. Shintaro Ban and John Oda, now juniors, were both freshmen that year. Ban tied for 113th (+16), while Oda finished tied for 126th (+18).

UNLV’S HISTORY AT THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP: This year marks UNLV’s 20th appearance at the NCAA Championship. All 20 showings have come in the last 29 years, while this year also marks UNLV’s second appearance at the national  finals in the last three seasons. As a program, UNLV has won three men’s golf national championships: one team title in 1998 and two individual championships (Ryan Moore in 2004 and Warren Schutte in 1991). In its 19 previous NCAA Championship appearances, UNLV has finished in the top eight 10 times, with its most recent top-eight showing being a tie for 6th – earning its first Elite Eight appearance (in the current format) – in 2013 at Capital City Club, in Atlanta. Aside from winning it all in 1998, UNLV’s best finishes have been second in 1996, fourth in 1992, sixth in 1999, 2000 and 2013, seventh in 1994 and eighth in 1991, 1993 and 2005.

UNLV OWNS NCAA REGIONAL RECORD STREAK: The Rebels earned their 29th consecutive invitation to a NCAA Regional this year, which tied the NCAA record for most consecutive appearances all-time (with Oklahoma State – also 1989-2017). UNLV finished first out of 13 teams at this year’s NCAA Regional (in West Lafayette, Ind.), marking the first time in 12 years (2005) that the Rebels have won a NCAA Regional. UNLV finished the event at 8-over, three shots ahead of Auburn. It was the fifth regional title in program history. The Rebels have finished in the top five at a regional 19 times. Their other four titles were in 1990, 1994, 1997 and 2005). The program boasts three individual medalists (Hub Goyen, 1990; Warren Schutte, 1991; Ed Fryatt, 1994). Shintaro Ban, John Oda and Harry Hall all finished in the top six in the individual standings this year. Ban was the program’s top finisher as he tied for third at 2-under.

BACK-TO-BACK MOUNTAIN WEST CHAMPIONS: UNLV won the Mountain West Championship for the second straight year in April. It marked the fourth MW title for the Rebels. UNLV became the first MW program to win back-to-back team titles since New Mexico did it in 2013 and 2014, and it marked the first back-to-back titles for UNLV since joining the league. The Rebels’ four MW titles are the second-most in league history. UNLV was a shot better (-18) than runner-up Colorado State (-17). The Rebels were led individually by John Oda and Harry Hall. Oda tied for sixth at 6-under, while Hall tied for eighth at 5-under.

FOR JUST THE SECOND TIME IN PROGRAM HISTORY: For just the second time ever, UNLV won its league and regional title in the same year. The only other time it accomplished that feat was in 1994. The Rebels finished seventh at the NCAA Championship that year.

MOUNTAIN WEST HONORS: For the first time since 2002, Dwaine Knight was named the Mountain West Men’s Golf Coach of the Year. In addition, John Oda was selected as the league’s Player of the Year, while Shintaro Ban, Harry Hall and Oda were all tabbed all-conference performers. Oda’s Player of the Year honor marked the first for a Rebel golfer since Derek Ernst won it in 2011. Oda is the fourth different Rebel to win the MW award. Knight, who is in his 30th season leading the program, has also been named the MW Coach of the Year in 2002, the WAC Coach of the Year in 1998 and the Big West Coach of the Year in 1989.

ODA RECOGNIZED: UNLV junior John Oda was recently announced as a semifinalist for the Jack Nicklaus Award. Finalists will be named on May 25. He was also named to the Ben Hogan Award Watch List in February and was also invited to participate in a practice session for the 2017 Walker Cup Match in December. Oda has been named honorable mention for All-America honors in each of the last two seasons.