Pepperdine rolls into the postseason with 24 shot WCC romp
02 May 2021
by Jim Young of AmateurGolf.com

see also: View results for WCC Championship, Gold Mountain Golf Club, Clay Feagler Rankings

- Pepperdine Men's Golf photo
- Pepperdine Men's Golf photo

Pepperdine head coach Michael Beard would never diminish the importance of winning a conference championship, but after the Waves won their 21st West Coast Conference championship on Saturday at Reflection Bay Golf Club in Henderson, Nev. by 24 shots, the nation’s eighth-ranked team will now turn its attention to loftier goals.

The heavily favored Waves turned Reflection Bay into their own personal prepping grounds for the upcoming NCAA Regionals, carding a 49-under score of 815 on rounds of 269-272-274 to win their third consecutive WCC title in wire-to-wire fashion. The Waves put a quick stronghold on the tournament after turning in 19-under 269 on Friday to open an eight-stroke lead over San Francisco, and then increased the margin to 15 on day 2 before winning by a 24-stroke margin over their closest pursuer, BYU. San Francisco finished third at 22-under, one stroke ahead of fourth place St. Mary’s.

The 49-under is the second-best 54-hole score in program history. It's Pepperdine's third consecutive WCC title. The Waves' 21 WCC championships are 10 more than any other school. This was Pepperdine's fifth team win of the season, extending the program record.

Pepperdine’s Clay Feagler claimed WCC medalist honors for the second time in his career, defeating teammate Dylan Menante on the second playoff hole after both players finished at 11-under 205 in regulation.

“Our conference gets better every year, so to pull it out like this, it means more and more to the program and our players,” said Beard, last year’s national coach of the year. “We didn't know exactly what to expect from the course. We knew that if the wind was down it was scoreable. It was a great course. It was a great experience for us. It's a weird feeling when you have two players you want to win in the playoff, but they can't.

I'm really happy for Clay. Dylan's a great player, he's had such a great year, and I feel for him. But we're happy to win as a team and to have the individual winner is special.”

It was the fourth career win for the veteran Feagler, who also claimed top individual honors at the 2018 WCC Championships. “It's kind of crazy, winning it back in 2018 and I didn't know how big it was back then,” said the fifth-year senior. “But now being a two-time winner, it hits home more. You never want to face your teammate in a playoff, it's the worst thing possible, but I was glad to come out on top today ... The last four events we've been trending the right direction. We've been playing well. Going to Regionals, we need to keep playing consistent golf and keep our composure and try to get top five.” Junior Joe Highsmith, who was coming off a win at the Western Intercollegiate in April, shot a final round 66 and tied for third with a 10-under score of 206, along with BYU’s Craig Lundell and St. Mary’s Ethan Ashbrook.

Pepperdine senior Joey Vrzich also earned a top-10 finish, tying for seventh at 8-under 208 while teammate William Mouw tuned up for his Walker Cup appearance next week by tying for 13th with a 5-under score of 211.

Pepperdine figures to be a high seed then the NCAA Regional fields are announced on Wednesday on GOLF Channel. San Francisco, ranked 25th by Golfstat, will likely receive an at-large berth while San Diego (64th) also hopes to see its name revealed on Wednesday’s selection show.

Pepperdine Athletic Communications contributed to this report.

Results: WCC Championship
1CAClay FeaglerLaguna Niguel, CA40068-65-72=205
2CADylan MenanteCarlsbad, CA30067-67-71=205
T3CAEthan AshbrookSanta Maria, CA20072-68-66=206
T3WAJoe HighsmithLakewood, WA20067-73-66=206
T3UTCarson LundellAlpine, UT20068-67-71=206

View full results for WCC Championship

ABOUT THE WCC Championship

54 hole men's collegiate championship of the West Coast Conference. Team (best four scores out of five players each round) and individual competitions.

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