April 18, 2012
HOLLISTER, Calif. -- Saint Mary's junior Ben Geyer shot a birdie on 18 to finish -9 (207) to win the 2012 West Coast Conference championship. Geyer's effort helped propel the Gaels to their first WCC men's golf title in school history. Saint Mary's shot a -20 over 54 holes to win the men's title by 9 strokes over second place San Francisco. The Pepperdine women continued to roll, capturing their 11th consecutive WCC golf championship. Individually, Gonzaga's Victoria Fallgren won a playoff hole over Seattle's Caitlin McCleary, becoming the first Bulldog to win an individual title.
"It feels amazing, not only to win the WCC Championship but to also get my first collegiate win," said Saint Mary's Geyer. "I really approached today by just focusing on one shot at a time. Everyone enjoys playing in big events. But, I play good golf when I'm nervous and maybe that's a good thing."
Saint Mary's shot a five-under par 283 in Wednesday's final round, finishing with an 844 (-20) for the tournament. The Gaels finished nine shots better than San Francisco (853, -11) and 22 in front of third place BYU (866).
Geyer won the individual title with an impressive effort on Wednesday, finishing six under par. His birdie on 18 gave him a one-stroke victory over San Diego's Alex Ching, the defending medalist. Geyer (207, -9) bested Ching (208, -8) and San Francisco's Taylor Travis (210, -6) in a crowded field at the top spot.
On the women's side, Pepperdine proved too much for San Francisco, as the Waves won the WCC title for the 11th consecutive year. Pepperdine (911, +47) topped USF (917, +53) to win its 14th WCC team title in the last 16 years.
"It means a lot for us, and our coach was very proud of us," said Pepperdine freshman Somin Lee, who shot the only hole-in-one at this year's championship, collecting an ace on 16. "I didn't know it was in [the cup]," Lee explained. "I walked up to the green and couldn't find my ball, and they told me it was in the hole. I was surprised."
Individually, Gonzaga's Victoria Fallgren and Seattle's Caitlin McCleary tied for first with a +8 (224). On a one-hole playoff on nine, Fallgren's birdie gave her Gonzaga's first-ever individual champion. Pepperdine's Lee and BYU's Maggie Yuan each finished one shot off the top spot, posting a +9 for the championship.
The 2012 WCC all-conference awards will be announced on Thursday. For tournament video recaps, interviews, highlights and more, visit the Championship Central link on WCCsports.com.
2012 West Coast Conference Golf Championships - Team Standings
1.Saint Mary's 844 (-20)
2. San Francisco 853 (-11)
3. BYU 866 (+2)
4. Gonzaga 867 (+3)
5. San Diego 868 (+4)
6. Loyola Marymount 885 (+21)
7. Pepperdine 888 (+24)
8. Santa Clara 902 (+38)
1. Pepperdine 911 (+47)
2. San Francisco 917 (+53)
3. Gonzaga 919 (+55)
4. Seattle 937 (+73)
5. Santa Clara 939 (+75)
6. BYU 965 (+101)