LAS VEGAS – There are two things that make a golf tournament, dare I say, ridiculous: constant, gusting wind and a putting contest. What I mean by this is, when the conditions are extremely windy, anything is possible. The same is true when a tournament is staged on an easy course and it turns into a putting contest.
Windy is the best way to describe the conditions today at the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters, where gusts were well over 35 mph. First, I don’t want to take anything away from UNLV’s 7-shot lead after 36 holes, because the Rebels clearly are no joke on the par-72, 7,510-yard Southern Highlands Golf Club layout – they’ve won four of the past five tournaments at Southern Highlands. Those victories came when UNLV was one of the better-ranked teams and also when the Rebels carried just an average ranking compared to the other teams in the field. They have won in cold, snowy conditions and have won when the Vegas heat was turned on. This weekend, UNLV is the sixth-best team in the field, with a No. 14 ranking by Golfweek, and will most likely make it five of the last six when the final round is complete.
Step back to the bizarro world of college golf today and take a look at what the scoreboard says for the team from Stillwater, Okla.: 82-85-82-79-78 for a team total of 321!
For a moment, I thought I was at the Nevada State High School Championship. Those are not scores you would expect to see under any circumstances from the top team in the land. And the Cowboys were not the worst scoring team in the second round. That title belonged to the sixth-ranked Florida Gators, who just happened to be the first-round leaders. Florida fell from first to a tie for 10th with a 326 total. No player in the field turned in a scorecard with an under-par round.
Combine these firm and fast conditions with gusting winds that rival a 9-year-old’s fastball and you get – I repeat – ridiculous results.