WOLCOTT, Colo. - The Pepperdine women's golf team won its third consecutive Golfweek Conference Challenge on Wednesday, edging Tennessee by one shot, while junior Marissa Chow captured her first collegiate title by four strokes.
The Waves won the event for the fourth time overall (2009, 2012, 2013, 2014) but needed a big final round to hold off the Volunteers. Pepperdine and Tennessee were tied heading into the final round at the par-72 Red Sky Golf Club, and while the Lady Vols shot 7-under, the Waves won by going 8-under, which ties the seventh-best 18-hole score in program history.
Pepperdine finished with a 2-under 862 (284-298-280), which is the ninth-best 54-hole score in school history. Tennessee was second at 863 and Denver was third at 870. The Golfweek Conference Challenge brings together programs from 17 different conferences.
"I'm so proud of the team," said Pepperdine Coach Laurie Gibbs, who is in her 22nd season and led the Waves to their 48th team title during her tenure. "They played great this week. Marissa played very well and is doing a great job leading the team."
Chow (Honolulu, Hawaii/Iolani HS), a junior who earned Golfweek All-American third team honors last year, also entered the third round tied for the individual lead, but blew past her closest competitors after shooting a 5-under 67. She wound up with a 6-under 210 (73-70-67). The 5-under for 18 holes and 6-under for 54 holes both tie collegiate bests for Chow.
Chow's day began with four birdies on her first four holes, and she added three more birdies the rest of the way en route to her first college win. She posted three second-place finishes as a sophomore, including one at last year's Golfweek Conference Challenge.
In just her second college event, freshman Tatiana Wijaya (Jakarta, Indonesia/Shenton College) tied for sixth place with a 1-over 217 (68-78-71). Her final round included four birdies.
Senior Alina Ching (Honolulu, Hawaii/Punahou School) posted her best regular-season finish since the 2012 Golfweek Conference Challenge, tying for 11th place at 221 (68-78-75).
Fellow senior Somin Lee (Denver, Colo./Overland HS) made a big comeback, going from a tie for 58th after the first round to 17th place in the final standings with a 224 (79-73-70). Lee had five birdies as she went 2-under for the round (and she tied with Chow and two other players for the most birdies over the three days with 14 overall).
Freshman Katherine Zhu (Vancouver, B.C./Zhuji Hailiang Private School) tied for 21st place at 224 (75-77-72).