Koelbaek leads Rebels to home repeat
UNLV junior Therese Koelbaek carded a final-round 71 to win her third career individual title, and the Rebels repeated as tournament champions Wednesday at the UNLV Spring Rebel Invitational.
UNLV, No. 41 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings, recorded its first victory of the season and third overall in its annual spring tournament, which drew seven of the top-50 teams in the latest Golfweek rankings. Despite a final-round 299, the Rebels finished at 2-over 866 to beat No. 35 Texas by 12 strokes at the Boulder Creek Golf Club in Boulder City, Nev.
No. 44 Texas Tech finished third at 886, followed by Baylor at 888.
“I’m really proud of the team and the way they played this week. It’s not always extremely easy playing at home, but they came out and played some excellent golf and were able to defend our title,” said UNLV coach Missy Ringler, now in her eighth year with the program.
“I knew after the first round (7-under 281) that it was going to be a good week,” she said.
Koelbaek, currently ranked 54th and a two-time Golfweek All-American, continued her strong spring campaign by picking up her second top-10 finish in three starts. She came in at 6-under 210, three strokes ahead of Idaho’s Kayla Mortellaro (75). Ball State’s Brittany Kelly (73) was third at 1-under 215, followed by a three-way tie for fourth at 216: Texas Tech’s Gabriella Dominguez (72), Texas’ Desiree Dubreuil (72) and UNLV’s Natasha Krishna (73).
Take 5: UNLV Spring Invit'l (Rd. 3)
“Therese struggled a little out of the gate in the fall, but she’s played really well this spring,” said Ringler.
Three UNLV players finished in the top 7, providing a much-needed spark for a team that hadn’t placed higher than 11th in its first two starts this spring. Prior to Wednesday, the Rebels’ previous best finish was a a tie for third in mid-September.
The Rebels also won this event last year, finishing at 20 over.