Top 25 UNLV Golf Opens Up With Prestigious Illini Invitational at Historic Olympia Fields

LAS VEGAS ( -The UNLV Men’s golf team, ranked No. 24 in Golfweek’s Preseason Poll, will open its 2015-16 season on Friday, Sept. 18,as it will compete at the Olympia Fields Country Club/Fighting Illini Invitational. The Rebels recently held a photo and video session at Shadow Creek Golf Club, and some of the player videos are included below in this news release. Click for LIVE SCORING. Senior AJ McInerny is in the lineup following a solid summer off-season.

The three-day opening tournament, which is in its 10th season and is being hosted by Illinois, will be played at the famed Olympia Fields Country Club (par 70, 7,142 yards), which has hosted two U.S. Opens and two PGA Championships among other high-level tournaments. The Rebels arrived earlier in the week to get a look at the venue.

The 54-hole stroke-play tournament will consist of 18 holes on Friday, Saturday and Sunday with rounds starting on Friday and Saturday at 9 a.m. CT/7 a.m. PT and the final round on Sundaybeginning at 8 a.m. CT/6 a.m. PT. This will mark UNLV’s first year playing in the event. Competing for the Rebels will be last year’s Mountain West Freshman of the Year John Oda (now a sophomore), sophomore Shintaro Ban, sophomore Ben Davis, senior AJ McInerney and freshman Harry Hall.

The young Rebels will be tested in their opening event of the season as the 15-team field includes four of the top-five ranked teams in the country and a total of 10 of the nation’s top 25. The field: No. 1 Illinois, No. 2 Texas, No. 3 Florida State, No. 5 Stanford, No. 10 Arizona State, No. 12 Texas Tech, No. 18 Alabama, No. 19 Oklahoma State, No. 21 Baylor, No. 24 UNLV, Arkansas (No. 33), Texas A&M (No. 25), GRU Augusta, Indiana and Northwestern.

Illinois is the defending tournament champion as the Fighting Illini won last year’s event with a score of 22-over 861. Medalist honors went to Illinois’ Dylan Meyer and Stanford’s Maverick McNealy. The pair tied for first at 3-over 213 last year. UNLV is entering its 29th season under head coach Dwaine Knight and the squad returns seven letterwinners from last season. UNLV has played in a NCAA-record 27-straight NCAA Regionals.

TWITTER: UNLVGolf  |  PRESEASON VIDEOS: Coach Knight  |  John Oda  |  AJ McInerney  |  Harry Hall