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Pepperdine Seeks Eighth Straight WCC Championship Beginning Monday

April 13, 2006

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The Pepperdine men's golf team will attempt to win its eighth consecutive West Coast Conference (WCC) championship and 12th in the last 13 years when it opens play at the WCC Championships that begin Monday at the par-72, 6,826-yard Saddle Creek Golf Course in Copperopolis, California.

The tournament gets underway with 36 holes on Monday and concludes with the final 18 holes on Tuesday with all eight WCC schools participating.

At the 2005 WCC Championships, Pepperdine won its seventh straight conference title, posting a 14-shot victory over Saint Mary's. The Waves concluded play with a 54-hole score of 864 as four players finished in the Top 5.

Seniors Brian O'Flaherty and Michael Putnam finished second and third, respectively, while junior Alex Coe was fourth and freshman Colin Wilcox placed fifth. All four players earned All-WCC honors. Saint Mary's senior Joe Lanza claimed individual medalist honors with an 8-under par total of 208.

In addition to seeking its eighth straight WCC title, Pepperdine will also be looking for its sixth Top 5 finish in 11 tournaments this season. Earlier this year, the Waves captured the Ashworth Invitational, placed second at The Club Glove Intercollegiate and were third at the General Jim Hackler Invitational.

MORRIS WILLIAMS INTERCOLLEGIATE: Pepperdine was last in action at the Morris Williams Intercollegiate April 3-4 and placed 17th in the 18-team tournament that included 10 teams ranked in Golfweek's Top 25. The Waves carded a 43-over par score of 907. Second-ranked Oklahoma State captured the team title with a 14-under par total of 850 to register a nine-shot victory over Texas Tech. The Red Raiders finished with a 5-under par score of 859. Seventh-ranked Brigham Young (863) placed third while host Texas (864) finished fourth and Oklahoma (868) fifth. BYU's Oscar Alvarez claimed individual medalist honors with a 7-under par score of 209 to register a three-shot victory over Oscar Floren of Texas Tech and Oklahoma State teammates Trent Leon and Jonathan Moore. Senior Alex Coe was the top finisher for Pepperdine, tying for 36th with a 5-over par score of 221.

COE TOPS WAVES: Senior Alex Coe leads Pepperdine with a stroke average of 72.10 while playing 30 rounds. He has registered seven Top 20 showings, including six Top 10s. Coe is currently No. 26 in the latest Golfweek Rankings.

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 the WCC Championships, Pepperdine will next be in action on May 18 when it opens play at the NCAA West Regional Championships at The Omni Tucson National Golf Course in Tucson, Arizona. The Top 10 teams will advance to the NCAA Championships that will be held May 31 - June 3 at the Crosswater Golf Club in Sunriver, Oregon.

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.