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Pepperdine Qualifies for NCAA Championships After Tying for Ninth at West Regionals

May 20, 2006

Tucson, Ariz. - Led by sophomore Michael Baird's 4-under par 68, the Pepperdine men's golf team carded a final-round 7-under par 281 to tie for ninth place at the NCAA West Regional Championships that concluded Saturday at the par-72, 7,200-yard OMNI National Golf Club in Tucson, Arizona and qualify for the NCAA Championships.

The Waves tied Nevada with a 54-hole score of 13-under par 851 as they secured their seventh NCAA Championships appearance and first since 2004. The 109th NCAA Championships is slated for May 31 through June 3 at the Sunriver Resort in Sunriver, Oregon.

"It was a good team effort," head coach John Geiberger said. "It's always touch and go at the end. We had a couple of good rounds the first day. You never know what score is going to be to make it.

"Now we look forward to getting ready for the national championships and put forth a good showing there," Geiberger added.

Florida and host Arizona tied for the team title with 37-under par totals of 827 to finish 17 shots ahead of Arizona State and Washington, who tied for third with 24-under par scores of 840. The Huskies turned in the best round of tournament on Saturday, posting a 17-under total of 271.

North Carolina State (845) placed fifth while Brigham Young and Loyola Marymount (847) tied for sixth and East Tennessee State finished eighth to earn berths in the NCAA Championships field.

Nevada's Casey Watabu cared the low individual round of the tournament, turning in an 8-under par 64 on Saturday to finish at 13-under par 203 and tie Florida's Billy Horschel for individual medalist honors.

Watabu and Horschel registered a one-shot victory over Washington's Zach Bixler and East Tennessee State's Ryhs Davies, who totaled 12-under par scores of 204.

Pepperdine senior Alex Coe shot a final-round 1-under 71 tie for 11th place. Sophomore Colin Wilcox (211) tied for 29th while Baird (215) tied for 56th, junior J.J. Wood (218) tied for 72nd and sophomore Jesse Barnsley (225) tied for 111th.