Arizona Intercollegiate: Pepperdine wins by three

TUCSON, Ariz. (Feb. 3, 2009) – The Pepperdine men’s golf team held off San Diego State by three strokes to win the Arizona Intercollegiate – the first tournament of the spring season – on Tuesday.

The Waves shot a 3-over 855 (286-279-290) for the tournament at the par-71 Arizona National Golf Club, giving Pepperdine its first victory since The Club Glove Intercollegiate in October 2007.

In the individual competition, University of Tennessee junior Chris Paisley fired a final-round 67 to win medalist honors at 12-under-par over three days, three strokes better runner-up Matt Hoffenberg from San Diego State.

All 17 teams in the competition had to finish off the second round early this morning, as the latter part of the round was suspended due to darkness on Monday. The Waves had a two-stroke lead when play stopped, and were up by three strokes over the Aztecs when the second round ended. Both Pepperdine and SDSU shot a 290 in today’s third and final round.

“From a team effort standpoint, this was great,” Pepperdine Coach John Geiberger said. “We limited our mistakes, which is huge on this course, and we took advantage on some of the birdie holes. I had a good feeling about this group once we got over here. For a young group like this to get a win to start the spring season, that’s something that’s going to stay with us for a while. I try to emphasize to the team, let’s reach our potential. We’re such a young group that if we do that, we’ll be successful, like we were this week.”

The Waves, ranked #43 by Golfstat, defeated six teams with better rankings (#20 UNLV, #21 Tennessee, #25 Tulsa, #26 East Tennessee State, #36 California and #40 Coastal Carolina).

Sophomore Chad Vivolo (Carmel, Calif./Robert Louis Stevenson HS) had a big final round, as he finished up the tournament with a 6-under 65 that included eight birdies. That moved him all the way into a fourth-place finish with a 4-under 209 (72-72-65). He set personal bests for finish and score, and his 65 was the best round of any player in the tournament.

“This was great for Chad, just a great confidence-booster for him,” Geiberger said. “Getting a 65 out there on a calm day would be great, but with today’s windy conditions and the challenging hole locations, it was really impressive.”

Sophomore Andrew Putnam (University Place, Wash./Life Christian Academy) had a remarkable five eagles over the course of the tournament, all on par-5s. He was the first-round leader and was in second place after two rounds, but settled for a tie for ninth place with an even-par 213 (67-69-77). Three of his eagles came during the second round. In seven tournaments this school year, he has finished in the top 20 all seven times and in the top 10 four times.

Redshirt freshman Josh Anderson (Temecula, Calif./Murrieta Valley HS) also earned a top 20 finish as he wound up in a tie for 15th place with a 3-over 216 (74-69-73). Instead of returning to Malibu with the rest of the team, he will head to San Diego and will play as an amateur in the PGA Tour’s Buick Invitational at Torrey Pines this weekend.

Sophomore Austyn Karle (Scottsdale, Ariz./Notre Dame Prep) took 24th place at 218 (73-70-75) and junior Carl Smith (Laguna Beach, Calif./Santa Margarita HS) tied for 37th place at 223 (75-71-77).

The Waves will next compete at the USC Intercollegiate in Westlake Village, Calif., on Feb. 23-24.

--Courtesy Pepperdine AD

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