Four Waves Ready for Next Week's U.S. Amateur
The U.S. Amateur Championship will primarily be held at nearby Riviera County Club.
MALIBU, California – Four members of the Pepperdine men’s golf team will be in action next week at the U.S. Amateur Championship, which is primarily being held just a few miles down Pacific Coast Highway at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades.
Juniors Sahith Theegala (Chino Hills, Calif./Diamond Bar HS) and Roy Cootes (Rolling Hills, Calif./Palos Verdes HS) and sophomores Joshua McCarthy (Danville, Calif./De La Salle HS) and Clay Feagler (Laguna Niguel, Calif./Dana Hills HS) are part of the 312-player field.
“Since the USGA announced they were bringing the U.S. Amateur to Southern California, a lot of the guys on our team made a goal to qualify for it,” Pepperdine Coach Michael Beard said. “And I know the four that are in are really looking forward to playing close to home. I’m not sure the last time Pepperdine had four players qualify for the Am but I imagine it’s been a while, if ever.
“We don’t get to play Riviera as a team very often but we do get to play Bel Air on Wednesday mornings, and I think the experience they have playing that course will really help them at the Am next week. The history that both courses have make this U.S. Am so special. It’s such a treat for our guys to be able to compete there next week.”
The tournament begins with two days of stroke play on Monday and Tuesday (Aug. 14-15), which will be divided between both Riviera Country Club and Bel-Air Country Club. The top 64 players will move on to match play on Wednesday (Aug. 16), which continues through the championship match on Sunday (Aug. 20). All of match play will be held at Riviera Country Club and there will be live coverage on FS1 and FOX.
Theegala will play Riviera on Monday and Bel-Air on Tuesday, while Cootes, Feagler and McCarthy will all start at Bel-Air before heading over the Riviera on Tuesday.
Theegala earned an automatic berth into the U.S. Amateur by virtue of his being a quarterfinalist at the 2016 event. Cootes was the medalist at a qualifier at Western Hills Country Club in Chino Hills, Calif., on July 24. McCarthy tied for first place at a qualifier at El Macero Country Club in El Macero, Calif., on July 17. Feagler tied for second at a qualifier at Oakmont Country Club in Glendale, Calif., on July 17.
Feagler and McCarthy also played in the 2016 U.S. Amateur.
“It’ll be great to have a lot of the Pepperdine community out there supporting our guys,” said Beard, who will be caddying for Cootes. “Maybe we can get a Pepp vs. Pepp match-up in the final.”
All four players earned All-WCC first team honors in 2016-17. They helped lead the Waves to a 13th-place finish at the NCAA Championships and to a #20 national ranking by Golfstat (the best finish and ranking for the program since 2004).
Theegala, a 2017 All-American and the WCC co-Player of the Year, has already had a successful summer, playing in the U.S. Open and winning the Sahalee Players Championship. He has the advantage of having played Riviera during the PGA Tour’s Genesis Open in February, when he tied for 49th place.