Mona Shield Payne / Special to the Home News
Thursday, Nov. 18, 2010 | 12:32 a.m.
A.J. McInerney has been dominating the youth golf scene for years. The high school junior from Coronado High in Henderson hopes to continue his winning ways at UNLV.
McInerney, who Golfweek ranks as the nation’s No. 8 recruit for the class of 2012, verbally committed to UNLV this week.
“It’s everything I was looking for in a college,” McInerney said. “I like being able to play at Southern Highlands and Shadow Creek (two of UNLV’s home courses).”
Keeping McInerney in Southern Nevada is a major score for the UNLV program. He also visited Stanford and the University of San Diego but picked UNLV because of the golf facilities it has access to and longtime coach Dwaine Knight.
“Coach Knight does a great job. He’s a great guy,” he said
McInerney was the Sunrise Region’s player of the year last year as a sophomore, winning the individual high school championship to help Coronado capture the team title. He fired a 5-under-par 66 at TPC Vegas on the final day of state.
Also, he was a second-team Rolex Junior All-American — one of the top 24 high school golfers nationally regardless of grade.
Over the summer, he won the Las Vegas Junior Open, a prestigious American Junior Golf Association event, by firing a three-day 1-under-par 215. The event featured 54 of the association's top boys from 11 states, Canada and Mexico.
McInerney won’t be able to sign with UNLV until next November. Verbal commitments are non-binding. Knight can’t comment on McInerney until the letter of intent is received.