May 22, 2011
TUCSON, ARIZ. -- The Pepperdine men's golf team will return to the NCAA Championships for the first time since 2006 by the slimmest of margins, as the Waves finished in a tie for fourth place and one stroke ahead of sixth at the NCAA Southwest Regional on Saturday.
The Waves, who were seeded seventh, ended up tied with host Arizona with 8-over 844s at the par-71 OMNI Tucson National Golf Resort. Only the top five teams advance to the NCAA Championships, set for May 31-June 5 in Stillwater, Okla., and Washington finished one stroke behind the Waves and Wildcats. San Diego State, Texas A&M and California were the top three teams.
Pepperdine, the 1997 NCAA champion, shot its second straight 4-under 280. The Waves began the day in fourth place, and stayed among the leaders all day long. Fortunately, they built just enough of a margin that they were able to overcome a score of 4-over on the 18th hole.
"We came out and played well, which was great to see," Pepperdine Coach John Geiberger said. "It was just a great effort from all five, and I'm glad we did well on the first 10 or 12 holes, which gave us the padding we needed to get the job done. We tossed out a 1-over today, so everybody came to play, and that's what you need to be successful. One or two guys can't do it by themselves. We're happy, but we realize there's still work ahead of us as we get ready for the next one. It's a big relief, these regionals are tough."
The Waves' four scoring players accounted for a pair of 2-unders and two even-par rounds on Saturday. Three of the Waves recorded eagles.
Junior Josh Anderson (Murrieta, Calif./Murrieta Valley HS) tied for seventh place with a 4-under 209 (73-65-71), which led the Waves. He had a total of five birdies during his final round. Over the course of the tournament, he tied for the fourth-highest total of birdies (14).
Freshman Parker Page (Louisville, Ky./Ballard HS) had a previous season-best finish of a tie for 13th in his last outing at the West Coast Conference Championships, and he improved on that with a tie for 11th place with a 3-under 210 (70-71-69). He had a flawless third round, recording birdies on the par-4 third and 14th holes while not committing a single bogey. He finished with a tournament-high-tying 41 pars over the three days.
Sophomore Johnny Mac Arthur (Newhall, Calif./Hart HS) earned his third top 20 finish in his last four tournaments, tying for 16th place with a 1-under 212 (70-70-72). He scored an eagle on the par-5 10th hole and had three other birdies.
Thanks to a 2-under 69, senior Andrew Putnam (University Place, Wash./Life Christian Academy) moved up 10 spots and into a tie for 25th place with a 1-over 214 (71-74-69). He also eagled the 10th hole and had two other birdies on the back nine.
Senior Andrew Widmar (El Paso, Texas/Cathedral HS) tied for 48th place at 219 (73-75-71). He had the shot of the day, as he holed out from about 160 yards to score an eagle on the par-4 sixth hole.
The last time Pepperdine qualified for the NCAA Championships, they did it at the same regional site in Tucson. The Waves will be making their eighth appearance at nationals.
-Courtesy of Pepperdine Athletics