TUCSON, Ariz. — Round one of the Mountain West Conference Championship is complete at OMNI National Tucson, where the UNLV Rebels lead by seven thanks to an opening-round, six-under 65 from senior Kurt Kitayama.
Kitayama, from Chico, Calif., was bogey-free on Friday and made three birdies on each side of the 7,100-yard, par-71 course to lead the individual race. Kitayama's teammate Carl Jonson also broke 70 with a 68 while John Oda and Shintaro Ban just broke par with 70s. Ban is the younger brother of California junior Shotaro Ban.
Tied for second are San Diego State and Nevada, while New Mexico is nine back in fourth place. Xander Schauffele and Naham Mendoza paced the Aztecs with 67s, but had to take a four-over 75 in their team total. Nevada received a 66 from current second-place holder Corey Eddings and a 67 from Grant Booth, but like SDSU, were forced to count a high number, in their case, a 77.
The Mountain West Conference title will be contested over 54 holes, and will conclude Sunday.