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Pepperdine Set to Defend Title at 30th USC Collegiate Invitational

March 2, 2007

Malibu, Calif. -

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The Pepperdine men's golf team returns to action on Monday when it opens defense its title at the 30th USC Collegiate Invitational at North Ranch Country Club in nearby Westlake Village.

LIVESCORING: The USC Collegiate Invitational can be followed live on the Internet at www.Golfstat.com.

THE COURSE: The North Ranch Country Club is a par-71, 6,900-yard course. The 54-hole tournament format calls for 36 holes to be played on Monday with a shotgun start at 7:30 a.m. and the final 18 holes set for Tuesday. Teams will start off on the first and 10th holes with play beginning at 7:15 a.m.

THE FIELD: The 15-team field includes Brigham Young, California, Coast Carolina, Loyola Marymount, Oklahoma, Oregon, Oregon State, Pepperdine, Stanford, Tennessee, Texas Christian, Texas Tech, UCLA, USC and Washington State. Seven teams - Stanford (2), Brigham Young (8), Coast Carolina (9), USC (10), UCLA (12), Tennessee (15) and Texas Christian (29) - are ranked in the latest Golfweek Top 30 poll.

WAVES DEFENDING CHAMPIONS: Pepperdine enters the tournament as the defending champion after claiming the 2006 USC Ashworth Invitational. The Waves posted a 54-hole score of 9-over total of 861 to register a nine-shot victory over host USC (870). Oklahoma's Anthony Kim took home individual medalist honors with 9-under score of 204. Adam Porzak was Pepperdine's top individual performer as he tied for third at 1-under par 212.

LAST TIME OUT: Pepperdine was last on the course at the John Hayt Collegiate Invitational in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, where it finished 10th with a 46-over par score of 910. Alabama finished at 17-over par 881 to record a 10-shot win over Vanderbilt and Coast Carolina, who totaled 27-over par totals of 891. UCLA's Kevin Chappell claimed individual medalist honors with a 2-under par total of 214. Junior Colin Wilcox was the top individual performer for the Waves, carding a 6-over par score of 222.

2006-07 REVIEW: Pepperdine opened its 2006-07 season at the William H. Tucker Intercollegiate in Albuquerque, New Mexico, October 22-23, and placed third in the 21-team field. The Waves carded a 54-hole score of 877 to finish three shots behind host New Mexico which finished with an 874. Brigham Young was second with a score of 875. Junior Jesse Barnsley was the top individual performer for Pepperdine as he posted a score of 1-over par 217. The Waves also received a solid performance from a pair of freshmen as Shane Mason tied for 11th at 3-over 219 and Carl Smith recorded a score of 5-over 221. While hosting The Club Glove Intercollegiate, Pepperdine tied for second at the 12-team event at Saticoy Country Club. The Waves carded a 54-hole score of 904 to tie New Mexico and finish 11 strokes behind team champion Lamar (893). Pepperdine turned in a 10th-place showing at The CordeValle Classic in San Martin, California. Junior Eric Shriver was the top individual for the Waves as he tied for 19th. The Waves closed out their fall schedule at the sixth-place finish at the nine-team Aloha Purdue Intercollegiate in Hawaii in late November. Texas captured the team title with a 7-over par 847 while the Waves totaled a 23-over par 863. Pepperdine opened its spring slate with a ninth-place finish at the PING Arizona Intercollegiate at the Arizona National Golf Club in Tucson, Arizona. Junior Jesse Barnsley tied for 13th to lead the Waves.

BARNSLEY LEADS WAVES: Junior Jesse Barnsley currently tops Pepperdine with a 74.19 stroke average while playing in a seven tournaments. Barnsley has two Top 20 finishes, including one Top 10 showing. His best finish came at the season-opening William Tucker Intercollegiate where he placed eighth with a 1-over par 217.

PEPPERDINE INKS THREE PLAYERS TO LETTERS OF INTENT: Head coach John Geiberger signed three players to letters of intent during the early signing period. Geiberger announced the signings of Josh Anderson (Murrieta, CA / Murrieta Valley HS), Richard "Austyn" Karle (Scottsdale, AZ / Notre Dame Prep) and Andrew Putnam (University Place, WA / Life Christian Academy). Anderson was tabbed the Southern California PGA Junior Player of the Year based on scoring average, while Karle won the 2006 Arizona State High School individual championship. Putnam, the younger brother of former Pepperdine All-American Michael Putnam, captured the 2006 Washington State Individual state title, was a semi-finalist at the USGA Junior Boys Championships and was a second team AJGA All-American.

PROGRAM RANKED NO. 3: An NCAA Championship and two other Top 10 finishes at the NCAA Championships within the span of 10 years has helped catapult Pepperdine to No. 3 in Golf Digest's ranking of the Top 10 golf colleges in the country. It marks the second straight year that Pepperdine's men's golf team has been ranked in the Top 10. Five criteria form the basis of the rankings: a college golf team's adjusted scoring average, player growth while on the team, academics, climate and coaches/facilities.

THE PROGRAM: Although historical records are sketchy, Pepperdine fielded its first-ever golf team in the late 1940's or early 1950's. The program was deemphasized in the early 1970's when the school relocated to Malibu, but was reinstituted as an intercollegiate sport in the fall of 1982. In 1987, Pepperdine achieved its first notable success, as the Waves upset several local collegiate powers and claimed the team championship of the Southern California Invitational at the Torrey Pines Country Club in San Diego. Pepperdine won its first-ever West Coast Conference (WCC) title that same year, and Jim Johnson earned a spot competing as an individual at the NCAA Championships--a first-time accomplishment for a Waves' player. Pepperdine has since won the WCC crown a total of 15 times--1987, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005--in the last 20 seasons. Additionally, the Waves have advanced to the NCAA Regional Championships 14 times since 1992, and earned a spot in the 30-team NCAA Championships field seven times in the last 13 years (1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2002, 2004 and 2006). Pepperdine has emerged as a regular in the national Top 25 rankings since 1993, and climaxed the 1997 campaign by winning its first-ever NCAA team title.

John Geiberger: John Geiberger is in his 11th season as the Waves' head coach. During his rookie season in 1996-97, Geiberger directed Pepperdine to its first-ever NCAA men's golf title. A three-year letterwinner at Pepperdine from 1989-91, Geiberger was hired as the University's head men's golf coach in August of 1996. During Geiberger's collegiate career in Malibu, Pepperdine captured West Coast Conference (WCC) titles in 1989 and 1991, and he earned All-WCC accolades in 1990 and 1991. Geiberger earned a bachelor's degree in organizational communications from the University in 1993. In addition to playing in numerous amateur tournaments, Geiberger caddied for his father, Al, on a regular basis from 1991-96 on the PGA Senior Tour. Geiberger was tabbed the 1997 WCC "Coach of the Year" after leading the Waves to the league championship. Geiberger was selected the 1997 National and District 8 "Coach of the Year" by the Golf Coaches Association of America. Pepperdine has won the WCC title each of the last seven seasons, and Geiberger has shared the league's "Coach of the Year" award in 1999, 2000, 2002 and 2005.

ON THE WEB: For updated information concerning Pepperdine athletics on the Internet, including results and a schedule of upcoming events, please bookmark the following address: http://www.PepperdineSports.com.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: For additional information on the men's golf program, or to arrange interviews with players and the coaching staff, please contact Al Barba at the Pepperdine Sports Information Office by calling (310) 506-4445.