Despite losing the best player in the nation to graduation in Sahith Theegala, the Waves picked right up where they left off in March at the Pasadera Collegiate Invitational.
The small five team field featuring BYU, Loyola Marymount, San Diego, and St. Mary’s (CA), as well as Pepperdine, is a welcomed sight to sore eyes as college golf continues in a lesser capacity this fall.
What may not be so welcomed by the Waves’ opponents is the record-setting day Pepperdine had on Monday at The Club at Pasaderna in Monterey, California. The Waves tallied a 31-under 529 (265-264) in the event’s first two rounds. The previous record? 30-under set at the Alister MacKenzie Invitational back in 2018.
Opening up an eight shot lead over Loyola Marymount, the Waves’ best scorer on the day is not even being counted as part of the team’s score.
Sophomore Dylan Menante (Carlsbad, California) sits atop the leaderboard and is playing as an individual for the Waves. Carding bogey-free rounds of 62-65 (127), Menante set the school record for lowest 36-hole individual total. He currently holds a three shot lead over junior teammate Joe Highsmith (Lakewood, Washington) at 13 under. Menante’s first round 62 also ties the sixth-lowest round in school history.
Highsmith counts as the lowest round for team play with rounds of 66-64 (130). Two more Waves, Joshua McCarthy (Danville, California) and Joey Vrzich (El Cajon, California) both hold shares of fifth place at 132. The duo combined for 20 birdies and a single eagle by the hands of McCarthy.
Making his collegiate debut was true freshman Caden Fiorini (San Diego, California). Beginning his Pepperdine career on the right foot, Fiorini sits in a tie for seventh at 7-under 133 with rounds of 67-66.
Arguably the anchor for the Waves, sophomore William Mouw (Chino, California) finds himself in a three-way tie for ninth at 6-under 134. Mouw scratched home an eagle in each round as well as knocking home eight birdies over the course of the 36 holes.
The seventh Wave inside the top-10, junior Derek Hitchner (Minneapolis, Minnesota) got hot after a four birdie performance in the morning. Kicking off his afternoon with five birdies on his first seven holes, Hitchner is tied alongside Mouw for ninth following two rounds of 67.
Individuals RJ Manke (Lakewood, Washington) and Austin Murphy (Morgan Hill, California) sit inside the top-20. Both seniors rebounded well after opening rounds of 73 and 70 respectively. Manke is tied for 13th with a second round 64 while Murphy’s 11 birdie day slots him one shot behind Manke at T-20.
The lone Wave outside the top-20, senior Clay Feagler (Laguna Niguel, California) by no means had a bad day. His rounds of 71-69 count towards Pepperdine’s team score but do not subtract from the grunt work of the lower classmen as his 140 meets par for the course.
The final round of the Pasadera Collegiate Invitational tees off at 7:45 a.m. PST with the Waves going off in 10-minute increments from 8:25 to 9:55 a.m.