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No. 19 Pepperdine Opens Play at General Jim Hackler Invitational Sunday

March 10, 2006

Malibu, Calif. -

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Coming off an impressive victory at the Ashworth Collegiate Invitational two weeks ago, the nationally-ranked Pepperdine men's golf team returns to action on Sunday when it begins play in the General Jim Hackler Invitational at the TPC of Myrtle Beach in Murrells, Inlet, South Carolina.

The tournament format calls for 36 holes to be played on Sunday with the final 18 scheduled for Monday at the par-72, 6,900-yard golf course.

The 15-team tournament field includes Arkansas, Coastal Carolina, East Tennessee State, Florida State, Illinois, Kansas State, Michigan State, North Florida, Notre Dame, Pepperdine, Texas Tech, Toledo, Virginia, Virginia Tech and UNC-Wilmington.

A total of four teams - East Tennessee State (12), Pepperdine (19), Texas Tech (22) and Florida State (26) - are ranked in the latest Golfweek rankings.

ASHWORTH COLLEGIATE INVITATIONAL: Turning in one of its most impressive performances in recent years, the 28th-ranked Pepperdine men's golf topped a field that included six teams currently ranked in the Top 25 as it captured the 15-team Ashworth Collegiate Invitational two weeks ago at North Ranch Country Club in nearby Westlake Village. Shooting the low round of the day - a 3-under 281 - Pepperdine finished the 54-hole tournament with a 9-over par 861 to register a nine-shot victory over host USC (870). Following Pepperdine and USC atop the field was Stanford (873), which finished third, and UCLA and Oklahoma, who tied for fourth with 23-over par scores of 875. Oklahoma's Anthony Kim claimed individual medalist honors, finishing at 9-under 204 to register a seven-shot victory over Stanford's Zack Miller (211). Freshman Adam Porzak registered the highest finish of his career as he tied Coast Carolina's Zack Byrd for third place with a 1-under score of 212. Coe and Wood tied for 10th with 3-over par scores of 216.

COE TOPS WAVES: Senior Alex Coe leads Pepperdine with a stroke average of 71.95 while playing 21 rounds. He has registered six Top 20 showings, including five Top 10s. He was recently named the West Coast Conference's Player of the Month for February.

FALL RECAP: Pepperdine competed in four tournaments in the fall and place in the Top 10 in all five events. The Waves highest finish came at The Club Glove Intercollegiate where they finished second behind San Diego State with a 36-hole score of 909. Senior Alex Coe led Pepperdine with a 73.08 stroke average in 12 rounds.

PEPPERDINE RANKED AMONG TOP MEN'S PROGRAMS: Over the last six years, Pepperdine has been the 25th-best men's golf program according to Golfweek, which combined its college rankings from the past six seasons. Georgia Tech came out on top and is followed by Clemson, Georgia, Oklahoma State and Florida.

Following next week's General Jim Hackler Invitational, Pepperdine is next in action on March 27 when it opens play at the N.I.T. Invitational at the The Omni Tucson National Golf Club in Tucson, Arizona.

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 19 seasons.Additionally, the Waves have advanced to the NCAA West Regional Championships 13 times since 1992, and earned a spot in the 30-team NCAA Championships field six times in the last 12 years (1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2002 and 2004). 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 begins his 10th 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.

SPORTS INFORMATION HOTLINE: For updated information concerning Pepperdine athletics, including results and a schedule of upcoming events, please contact the Pepperdine Sports Information Hotline at 310-506-7373. The hotline will be updated on a regular basis throughout the course of the 2005-06 school year.

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.