Pepperdine surges to the front at the Western Intercollegiate
11 Apr 2023
by Jim Young of

see also: View results for Western Intercollegiate, Pasatiempo Golf Club, Sam Choi Rankings

Sam Choi (Pepperdine Athletics photo)
Sam Choi (Pepperdine Athletics photo)

The Pepperdine Waves shredded the venerable Pasatiempo Golf Club on Tuesday to open a 14-stroke lead over Oregon at the 76th playing of the Western Intercollegiate.

Five subpar rounds, including a 7-under 63 by Robert Nieves and a 64 by Sam Choi, paved the way for the Waves to card a 22-under round of 328 on the six-count-five format and at 27-under for the tournament, Pepperdine will take a 14-stroke lead over Oregon into Wednesday's final round.

Pepperdine and BYU were the only two teams in red numbers on Tuesday, as the Cougars' 10-under round was 11-strokes better than the third-best score of the day which was turned in by Hawaii (+1).

All five of Pepperdine's counting players turned in subpar rounds.

Senior Sam Choi fired a 5-under 65 to move into a tie for first place with Oregon's Owen Avrit on the individual leaderboard at 9-under 131. Derek Hitchner shot 10 spots up the leaderboard into third place at 8-under after carding a 6-under 64.

The low round of the day belonged to Roberto Nieves, who clipped 14 strokes off his opening round 77 to fire a 7-under 63 on Tuesday. Nieves birdied five of his last six holes on the front nine to turn in 30 and three more birdies on the backside more than offset his lone bogey of the day on the par-5 13th hole.

Luke Gifford (67), Ian Maspat (69) and William Mouw (69) all turned in subpar rounds for the 11th-ranked Waves.

Pepperdine will look for its second win of the season as the Western Intercollegiate wraps up with final round action. Live coverage on the Golf Channel begins at 1:00 p.m. PT.

Results: Western Intercollegiate
1MNDerek HitchnerMinneapolis, MN70068-64-71=203
T2NVYuki MoriyamaLas Vegas, NV50068-67-69=204
T2CAOwen AvritArroyo Grande, CA50065-66-73=204
4CASam ChoiAnaheim, CA40066-65-74=205
5ChinaSampson ZhengChina40066-70-70=206

View full results for Western Intercollegiate

ABOUT THE Western Intercollegiate

54-hole men's college tournament hosted by San Jose State University. “The Western” is one of the most highly recognized national collegiate tournaments, conducted since 1946 Pasatiempo Golf Club; a historic venue where a player’s talent is always well-tested. Pasatiempo perennially ranks among the best by all of the major golf publications.

The format is slightly different than most college events. Six-player teams take the best five scores each round to determine the team score.

View Complete Tournament Information

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