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No. 21 Pepperdine Set to Compete at N.I.T. Invitational Beginning Monday

J.J. Wood
 
J.J. Wood
 
 

March 22, 2006

Malibu, Calif. -

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Coming off two straight Top 5 showings, the nationally-ranked Pepperdine men's golf team will be back in action on Monday when it opens play at the 54-hole N.I.T. Invitational in Tucson, Arizona.

The tournament format calls for 36 holes to be played on Monday with the final 18 scheduled for Tuesday at the par-72, 7,193-yard The Omni Tucson National Golf Club.

The 14-team tournament field includes Arizona, Arizona State, Arkansas, Fresno State, Kent State, Minnesota, New Mexico, Pepperdine, Texas Christian, Tulsa, UCLA, UNLV, USC and Washington.

A total of six teams - UCLA (5), UNLV (6), Arizona State (9), Tulsa (15), Pepperdine (21) and Minnesota (23) - are ranked in the latest Golfweek rankings.

GENERAL JIM HACKLER INVITATIONAL: Pepperdine followed its victory at the Ashworth Collegiate Invitational on February 28 with a third-place finish at the General Jim Hackler Invitational that was played March 12-13 at the TPC of Myrtle Beach in South Carolina. The Waves were led by senior Alex Coe, who claimed individual medalist honors with a 6-under par total of 210. It marked the second time in three years that Coe captured the General Jim Hackler Invitational, previously winning the tournament in 2004. Coe posted a one-shot victory over Ryhs Davies of East Tennessee State. Davies and his Buccaneers teammates won the team title with a 3-over par score of 867 to record a one-shot victory over host Coast Carolina. Pepperdine (887) was third, one shot ahead of Florida State and Virginia Tech, who tied for fourth with 24-over par scores of 888.

COE TOPS WAVES: Senior Alex Coe leads Pepperdine with a stroke average of 71.71 while playing 24 rounds. He has registered seven Top 20 showings, including six Top 10s. Coe is currently No. 17 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 next week's N.I.T. Invitational, Pepperdine is next in action on April 3 when it opens play at the Morris Williams Invitational at Austin Country Club in Austin, Texas. The 54-hole tournament will serve as the Waves' final tune-up before defending its title at the West Coast Conference Championships, scheduled for April 17 and 18 at the Saddle Creek Golf Course in Copperopolis, California.

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.