WCC Champions Pepperdine University
(Photo credit: Rob DeHuff)
SOMIS, Calif. — In a wild shootout between Pepperdine and Pacific at Saticoy Country Club, the Waves edged out a three-shot win over the Tigers to win the West Coast Conference Championship — the team's conference-leading 18th title. The winning Waves were led by their sophomore from Phoenix, Ariz. Cody McManus
, who earned medalist honors at four-over par 220.
With the victory, Pepperdine punched their ticket to NCAA Regionals for the first time since 2011.
“We’ve been talking about having to win conference for a while,” said third-year Pepperdine Coach Michael Beard. “It made it a little more attainable in their own minds having it at Saticoy, where we play a lot. But to do it in these windy conditions, which we’re not really used to, is pretty special.
The field battled through difficult wind conditions on Wednesday, with sustained winds between 15-20 mph and higher gusts up around 30. All nine universities posted higher team totals compared to the second round's relatively low scores, averaging 18 shots higher in round three.
The University of the Pacific Tigers entered Wednesday's final round with a slim four-shot lead thanks to their senior Byron Meth, who had just returned from Augusta National.
Having won the 2014 U.S. Amateur Public Links title, Meth received an invitation to the 2015 Masters, and finished second best among amateurs with a 36-hole total of 150, one shot back of U.S. Amateur runner-up Corey Conners. In Tuesday's second round, Meth birdied three of his last four holes to post 70 and grab a two-shot lead in the individual race — a title he was looking to defend.
But Meth struggled down the stretch, surrendering his lead to McManus, who finished with an even-par 36 on his final nine. Meth closed out his round with a double bogey on the par-four 7th, followed by bogeys on eight and nine. He finished second, just one shot behind McManus.
Pepperdine senior Kevin DeHuff shot the second lowest round of the day for the Waves, a 77, but more notably fought hard after going five over through his first six holes to finish even par his final 12.
UOP junior SeungJae Maeng shot the lowest round of the tournament, a 69, in round two to help the Tigers to their impressive second-day total. The team also received a one-under 71 from senior Drew Bender.
University of San Francisco senior Jobim Carlos shot 74 on Monday to lead the Dons to a four-shot, opening-round lead. He shot even-par 72 on Tuesday to help keep his team within three shots, but carded 81 on Wednesday. The team fell back into a fourth place finish, with St. Mary's overtaking them for third place.
Carlos tied for fourth place individually with teammate Seb Crookall-Nixon of England, as well as St. Mary's freshman Perry Cohen. Taking third place was Loyola Marymount junior Connor Campbell, who led after the first round with a one-under 71.