Men's Golf Qualifies for NCAA Championships
Sahith Theegala and Roy Cootes posted top-10 finishes en route to a third-place team finish at Stanford.
PALO ALTO, California – The Pepperdine men’s golf team is headed back to the NCAA Championships for the ninth time in program history and the first time since 2011 after a third-place finish at the NCAA Stanford Regional on Wednesday.
Pepperdine came into the final day at the par-70 Stanford Golf Course in third place and there was little drama as the Waves finished up with an even-par 280 for the round and a 5-under 835 (281-274-280) for the tournament, good for a nine-stroke cushion over the cut line of sixth place.
Only #4 Stanford and #9 Baylor finished ahead of the #27 Waves. #15 Oklahoma and #33 North Carolina finished fourth and fifth, respectively, to also qualify.
The Waves, who will celebrate their 20th anniversary of the 1997 NCAA title this year, will compete in the NCAA Championships from May 26-31 at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Illinois.
This is the Waves’ first-ever top-three finish at a regional. Pepperdine’s team score of 5-under was the fourth-best 54-hole score in program history at a regional.
“This feels great for our guys,” said Michael Beard, who will take the Waves to the NCAA Championships as head coach for the first time. “It’s great for our program and the progression we’ve shown over the past few years. We needed to get to the finals. I’m glad our young guys will get this experience.
“We did our best to get off to a good start on Monday but we didn’t quite finish well, and that was a little frustrating for all of us. We had a good talk with the guys and they came out ready to play in the second round. One of the things we’ve harped on is that we’ve got to execute and we’ve got to get better every day. That doesn’t necessarily mean your score, but we needed to be better mentally. There was a little fire in that second round. And then today, the guys were loose and they believed they were going to play well, and they did.”
Four Waves finished in the top 20, with two in the top 10, led by sophomores Sahith Theegala (Chino Hills, Calif./Diamond Bar HS) and Roy Cootes (Rolling Hills, Calif./Palos Verdes HS), who tied for fourth and seventh place, respectively.
Theegala ended up with a 4-under 206 (71-68-67) after shooting 3-under during his final round. He had one bogey early and one late, but posted five birdies between those.
Cootes shot a 3-under 207 (70-70-67) and also had a 3-under in the third round. He had an eagle on the par-5 seventh hole plus three birdies.
Freshmen Joshua McCarthy (Danville, Calif./De La Salle HS) and Clay Feagler (Laguna Niguel, Calif./Dana Hills HS) tied for 12th and 20th place, respectively. McCarthy had an even-par 210 (71-69-70). His was the third-best finish ever by a Pepperdine freshman at an NCAA Regional, and his eighth top-20 finish of the season tied a Pepperdine freshman record. Feagler wound up with a 2-over 212 (69-67-76).
Feagler and Theegala both had 11 birdies for the tournament, tied for most on the team. McCarthy recorded 40 pars, second-most of any player in the field.
Senior Robbie Geibel (Pembroke Pines, Fla./American Heritage HS/Louisville) tied for 73rd place at 236 (78-82-76).
Team Scores: T1. Stanford 271-278-274=823; T1. Baylor 277-265-281=823; 3. Pepperdine 281-274-280=835; 4. Oklahoma 280-277-280=837; 5. North Carolina 288-278-277=843; 6. Georgia Tech 287-273-284=844; 7. North Florida 279-281-285=845; 8. BYU 278-282-292=852; 9. Ohio State 288-294-284=866; 10. Houston 281-285-301=867; 11. UC Santa Barbara 296-290-288=874; 12. Sacramento State 300-290-298=888; 13. South Dakota State 301-289-309=899.
Top Individuals: 1. Brad Dalke (Oklahoma) 65-64-69=198; 2. Cooper Dossey (Baylor) 68-66-67=201; 3. Maverick McNealy (Stanford) 65-67-70=202; T4. Sahith Theegala (Pepperdine) 71-68-67=206; T4. Franklin Huang (Stanford) 67-71-68=206; T4. Brandon Wu (Stanford) 70-71-65=206.