UNLV’s Veronica Joels stars, but Rebels golf team takes 11th

UNLV senior Veronica Joels. (UNLV Athletics/NCAA Photos/Lucas Peltier )

Veronica Joels wrapped up her UNLV career in style Wednesday, shooting a 3-under 68 in the final round of the women’s NCAA regional at Stanford Golf Course to match the second-lowest round in the 65-player field.

Joels finished at 5-over 218 in the three-day tournament, good for a tie for 25th and best among the Rebels. UNLV had its best round of the event, shooting 5 over to finish at 46 over and in 11th place in the 12-team field. The Wednesday round softened the blow for the Rebels, who had dug themselves a deep hole in the first round Monday that they could not overcome.

The top four teams in the regional advance to next week’s NCAA Championship in Scottsdale, Arizona, and the top three seeds coasted. Southern California finished first at 15 under, with Louisiana State and the host Cardinal, the nation’s top-ranked team, tied for second at 7 under. The fourth spot went to Purdue, which beat Northwestern in a playoff after both finished at 12 over.

The individual crown went to USC’s Amari Avery, who finished at 9 under and was one better than Stanford’s Rose Zhang, the nation’s top-ranked player.

Other Rebels to compete were junior Nicole Lorup (14 over) and freshmen Hina Matsui (15 over), Kendall Todd (18 over) and Toa Yokoyama (18 over). San Francisco freshman and Clark High School graduate Riana Mission finished at 14 over.

In Ann Arbor, Michigan, Mountain West champion San Jose State won its bracket and advanced to the NCAA Championship, while MW Player of the Year Natasha Andrea Oon ran away with the individual title by five shots.

Greg Robertson covers golf for the Review-Journal. He can be reached at grobertson@reviewjournal.com.