TUCSON, AZ (April 24, 2016) - UNLV (846) trailed by nine shots after the first round and by two after the second round. However, when the dust settled on the Catalina Course at OMNI Tucson National the Rebels were the Mountain West Conference champions. UNLV was a combined 9-under on the final day and overtook New Mexico (849) to win by three over the second place Lobos.
"I am also proud of the team having such a stellar performance this weekend," UNLV head coach Dwaine Knight said. "We have had a lot of heartbreak at this tournament in the past, losing by just one shot several times. So for us to be able to come through this time, it really is a sweet victory."
Three UNLV players finished in the top-10 of the individual standings. Senior Zane Thomas (-6) playing in his final league championship paced UNLV finishing in a third place tie following scores of 71-72-67. Thomas' bogey-free final round 5-under 67 was tied for the second lowest round of the day.
Also, finishing in the top-10 for UNLV were sophomore John Oda (-4) and freshman Henry Hall (-4) with eighth place ties. Sophomore Shintaro Ban (-2) also played well finishing tied for 15th while classmate Ben Davis (+1) was tied for 22nd.
"We are really playing at a high level right now," Knight continued. "One of the things that has really helped us during this stretch is that the low scores are very competitive, but our high scores have been around 72 or 73. That is where you really are good as a team. We have had that during this run and that is great to see."
The UNLV rally wasn't the only comeback story in Sunday's final round. Fresno State's Trevor Clayton (-9) came from behind to win MWC medalist honor. The junior was two-strokes back when he placed his first tee into the ground on Sunday but did more then enough to capture the title with a 3-under 69 final round.
"It was an awesome day today," Trevor Clayton said. "I got off to a fast start, and just kept it going all day. Played steady, smooth, and it made for a fun day."
Clayton began his day with the first of his two final round bogey's on No. 1 but then rattled off five birdies in seven holes including three straight on holes 4-6. With all the momentum in the world Clayton's round could easily have been derailed when he double-bogeyed the 9th. That would not be the case however as Clayton birdied the next two holes giving him his final total of seven for the day.
36-hole leader Corey Eddings (-7) struggled on the last day shooting a 1-over 73 and finished in solo second two back. Three others including UNLV's Thomas were tied for third and one further off the pace.
-Fresno State and UNLV athletics contributed to this story