UNLV's Taylor Montgomery led the Rebels with a 4-under 68
(UNLV Athletics Photo)
TUCSON, AZ (April 23, 2017) - There would be no bid stealing on this day at the Mountain West Conference Men's Championship. After starting the final round two shots behind, No. 17 UNLV rallied during Sunday's final round to the title at OMNI Tucson National.
"We have been close several times this year and it is really nice to have been able to push it over the top today." UNLV head coach Dwaine Knight said. "It's always great to win the conference. It is a goal of ours each year when we start."
Sunday's victory was the second consecutive and fourth overall MWC title for the Rebels, who finished 18-under and one shot in front of runner-up Colorado State. Behind the 17-under Rams came third place Boise State at 16-under, 15-under San Diego State was fourth while New Mexico State was fifth at 14-under.
"Having won last year and coming back trying to defend the title is never easy. It was a tough battle here today and there were a lot of teams in it right up until the end. There are a lot of really good teams in our conference, so we are really happy we were able to come out on top," continued Knight.
During the final round UNLV was led by the number five player in their lineup, Taylor Montgomery. The round didn't start impressively for Montgomery (T15; -1) as he bogeyed the opening hole but from then on he was flawless birdieing five-times for a 4-under 68.
His first birdie didn't come until the 9th, however once the flood gates opened their wasn't much that slowed Montgomery down. Additional birdies followed on Nos. 10, 11, 14 and 16.
"Taylor deserves a lot of credit," Knight added. "He is the only senior we have and he wasn't playing that well consistently lately. But the 68 he got today was absolutely huge for our team. It was a day that we really needed him. Being a local guy, I know it was a dream come true for him."
The Rebels placed three additional players in the top-15; John Oda (T6; -6), Harry Hall (T8; -5) and Shintaro Ban (T15; -1).
Brian Humphreys of Boise State took home medalist honors and with it some history as he became the first Bronco to win the MWC title.
Humphreys finished the tournament 12-under after a closing 3-under 69 and two shots clear of the the field.
"It's awesome, I couldn't ask for anything more. I think its especially gratifying that we did it, and I won as our team played really well," Humphreys, a freshman, said following his win. "It feels good when we all get up early for workouts together and push ourselves more and come together. It's awesome to see hard work pay off with your buddies."
Unfazed by a 3rd hole double-bogey, Humphreys bogeyed just once more during the round while rolling in six birdies. The first of his birdies came immediately after the double-bogey as he birdied Nos. 4-6 in succession.
Humphreys assured himself the title with an 18th hole birdie, his third bird on the hole in three days.
Fellow Bronco Donny Hopoi finished second at 10-under and three shots in front of the 7-under third place trio of Ryan Wallen (Wyoming), Andre Garcia (San Diego State) and Gunn Yang (San Diego State).
-UNLV and Boise State athletics contributed to this story
ABOUT THE Mountain West Championship
54 hole men's collegiate championship of the
Mountain West Conference. Team (best four scores
of five players) and individual competitions.
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