SAN BRUNO, Calif. – West Coast Conference champion Saint Mary’s and Pepperdine concluded play in the 2016 NCAA Regionals. Although both the Gaels and the Waves surged during the final round, neither qualified for a trip to NCAA Nationals.
Saint Mary’s finished ninth in the Tucson Regional, while Pepperdine placed ninth in the Franklin Regional.
Gonzaga’s Sean Walsh concluded an outstanding career, finishing his final collegiate tournament in a share of 17th place and finished at even-par in the Tucson Regional. The 2015-16 WCC Co-Player of the Year finished four shots in front of San Diego’s Alex Chiarella, who finished in 33rd place at 4-over. Santa Clara’s Hayden Shieh ended his sophomore campaign tied for 28th place, while BYU’s Patrick Fishburn finished tied for 53rd place in the Albuquerque Regional.
PEPPERDINE – NCAA FRANKLIN REGIONAL (Vanderbilt Legends Club)
FRANKLIN, Tenn. – Frederick Wedel wrapped up a tremendous four-year career for the Pepperdine men’s golf team by shooting a 6-under 66 to conclude play at the NCAA Franklin Regional on Wednesday. The Waves had their season end with a ninth-place finish.
The Waves ended on a strong note, firing a 7-under 281 to finish with a three-day total of a 1-under 863 (296-286-281) at the par-72 Vanderbilt Legends Club. Only the top five teams advanced to the NCAA Championships and Pepperdine was 21 strokes behind the cut line.
Pepperdine added to its school-record total of tournaments finishing at or below par, accomplishing that feat for the ninth time this season. Before this school year, the record had been five times in a season.
Wedel (The Woodlands, Texas/The Woodlands HS) and Sahith Theegala (Chino Hills, Calif./Diamond Bar HS) both tied for 18th place to lead the Waves.
Wedel overcame a tough start to his tournament to finish with a 5-under 211 (75-70-66). He had a remarkable stretch of eight holes midway through his round today, accumulating five birdies and an eagle. He would post one more birdie later to finish with six on the day. It was his 19th below-par round of the season (third in Pepperdine single-season history).
Wedel, a senior and a two-time All-WCC first team selection, will leave his name prominently in the Pepperdine record book. For his career, he ranks fourth all-time in scoring average (72.69), fourth in below-par rounds (46), tied for eighth in top 10 finishes (14), eighth in top 20 finishes (21) and ninth in rounds played (140).
Theegala concluded arguably the best freshman season in school history. He was below par all three rounds and finished with a 5-under 211 (70-70-71). He had five birdies on the day. It’s the third-best showing by a Pepperdine freshman at an NCAA Regional.
Theegala, the West Coast Conference Freshman of the Year, shattered the school’s freshman record for scoring average by two full strokes this season, finishing at 71.06 to beat Andrew Putnam’s mark of 73.07 set in 2007-08. Theegala also set a freshman record with 17 below-par rounds (passing current head coach Michael Beard’s previous mark of 10).
On the school’s single-season scoring list, Wedel (71.00) and Theegala (71.06) now rank tied for second and fourth on that chart, respectively.
Freshman Roy Cootes (Rolling Hills, Calif./Palos Verdes HS) also had a good day, shooting a 2-under 70 that moved him up to a tie for 56th place with a total of 220 (76-74-70). His round included four birdies. Cootes’ season scoring average of 72.54 will put him at #2 on the Waves’ freshman list behind Theegala.
Junior Cody McManus (Phoenix, Ariz./Desert Vista HS) tied for 61st at 221 (75-72-74) and junior Robbie Geibel(Pembroke Pines, Fla./American Heritage HS/Louisville) tied for 72nd at 232 (80-76-76).
The Waves were making their 21st NCAA Regional appearance in the last 25 years.
SAINT MARY’S – NCAA TUCSON REGIONAL (Gallery Golf Club)
MARANA, Ariz. -- The Saint Mary's golf team turned in the third best score of the day but wasn't able to overcome yesterday's difficult finish and ended its season with a ninth place showing at the NCAA Tucson Regional at Gallery Golf Club.
The Gaels turned in scores of 291-307-281 to finish the 3-day event with a 15-over par 879. The Gaels finished 12 strokes behind Georgia Tech and North Florida and 13 back of sixth place UC Riverside.
Top-ranked Stanford won the team competition by 14 strokes over runner-up Oregon. The Cardinal turned in rounds of 274-284-275 for a 31-under par 833 and placed four golfers among the top 10 individuals. UAB finished third, while the Cal Bears and Wake Forest rounded out the top five.
The low five teams and the low individual not on those teams qualified to advance to the NCAA Championship Finals. Team and individual medalist titles will be decided May 27-June 1 at Eugene Country Club in Eugene, Ore.
Individually, Stanford's Franklin Huang earned medalist honors with scores of 67-69-68 for a 12-under par 204. He finished two strokes ahead of teammate Maverick McNealy and five in front of third place Matt Lutz from UC Riverside. Lutz earned the event's only individual qualifying spot into the NCAA Championships.
Sophomore Connor Blick finished tied for 12th overall at 1-under par and was the third-highest finisher among golfers not on NCAA Finals qualifying teams. The Danville, Calif. native turned in scores of 68-79-68 and became the seventh SMC golfer in program history to finish among the top 15 individuals at a NCAA regional.
Classmate Perry Cohen finished in a tie for 40th place at 6-over par with rounds of 72-77-73. JuniorHunter Rappleye carded a solid 3-under par 69 today to finish tied for 44th overall at 7-over par.
Senior Jonathan De Los Reyes concluded his career in a tie for 47th place at 8-over. The Antioch, Calif. native rebounded from an injury-plagued first round 79 to finish the final 36 holes at 1-over par. De Los Reyes registered a birdie on his final hole, much to the delight of his teammates and coaches watching from off the green.