Pepperdine beats Oklahoma for men’s golf title


SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Pepperdine supposedly missed its nationwide championship window a yr in the past.

The Waves had been the nation’s No. 1 crew however did not get to play for a title as a result of coronavirus pandemic and misplaced three-time All-American Sahith Theegala.

The chip on their shoulder carried them a great distance — straight to their first nationwide championship in 24 years.

Pepperdine capped a powerful run at Grayhawk Golf Membership with a sequence of clutch pictures down the stretch Wednesday, clinching a 3-2 win over Oklahoma on Clay Feagler’s two-putt from 35 toes on the Raptor Course’s troublesome 18th gap.

“Everybody mentioned our yr was final yr,” Feagler mentioned. “Coach [Michael Beard] mentioned initially of the yr, ‘So much individuals do not assume you are able to do it this yr.’ That gave us a bit little bit of a chip on our shoulder and motivation. Have a look at us now, nationwide champions. It is sort of loopy.”

Pepperdine took an early lead on a scorching day within the desert, allowed Oklahoma to rally, then closed with a flourish for its second nationwide championship.

Oklahoma’s Jonathan Brightwell received the opening match 1 up over Dylan Menante, however Pepperdine received the subsequent two, establishing Feagler to shut out the championship and his senior season.

Main 1 up, Feagler needed to again off when somebody popped open a drink earlier than his method shot on 18, however he gathered himself and hit a 7-iron from 195 yards to the entrance of the inexperienced. He cozied the putt shut sufficient that Oklahoma freshman Ben Lorenz conceded the match — and the title.

“To have a 35-footer and to two-putt that’s nuts,” Feagler mentioned. “I do not actually know the right way to really feel proper now.”

Because the Waves raced onto the inexperienced to have fun with Feagler, Joey Vrzich sprinted up the No. 18 fairway carrying his bag to affix them. Logan McAllister, who had his second ace in three days to take an early lead, received the ultimate match 1 up over Vrzich, however it did not matter.

Pepperdine had its first nationwide title since 1997.

“That was there on a regular basis,” Beard mentioned. “It felt like we simply did not get to see it by means of final yr, and these guys got here again higher.”

The Waves wanted an enormous rally on the ultimate day of qualifying to go from outdoors the reduce line to the No. 3 seed in match play. They rolled into the title match, beating Florida State within the quarterfinals and powerhouse Oklahoma State within the semifinals.

Oklahoma edged Illinois, then closed out Arizona State 3-2 within the semifinals

Brightwell earned the primary level of the title match, utilizing consecutive birdies on Nos. 15 and 16 to take a 1-up lead. He closed it out by getting up and down from in need of No. 18.

One match for the Sooners, however the Waves had been main the opposite 4.

Joe Highsmith began robust and by no means stopped rolling in opposition to Garett Reband.

The Pepperdine junior received three straight holes, the primary two on bogeys by Reband — he hit close to the twelfth fairway on No. 11 — then a 10-foot birdie on the twelfth to go 5 up.

Highsmith closed out the 4-and-3 win with a par on No. 15.

Pepperdine’s William Mouw wished to face Quade Cummins, a member of OU’s 2017 nationwide championship crew, within the anchor match and made probably the most of it.

Mouw made a 4-foot birdie putt to go 2 up on the par-5 eleventh and stretched the lead with consecutive wins on Nos. 13 and 14. He clinched Pepperdine’s second level 4 and three when Brightwell simply missed a birdie putt on No. 15.

“We positively had some giveaways early in some matches from what I used to be seeing and listening to,” Oklahoma coach Ryan Hybl mentioned. “However our guys had been at all times going to struggle to the bitter finish.”

Pepperdine led 2-1 after Mouw’s win and the final two matches had been shut.

McAllister appeared to take management of his match with the fifth hole-in-one of the event on No. 8 — he additionally aced the 205-yard fifth gap Monday — and stretched his result in 3 up on a bogey by Vrzich on No. 9.

The Pepperdine senior nonetheless had some struggle in him.

Vrzich received 4 straight holes, going 1 up with the one birdie of the day on the firm-greened, 230-yard thirteenth gap. McAllister tied it with a brief birdie on No. 15 and two-putted for birdie to go 1 up on the drivable par-4 seventeenth, however the match ended on the 18th tee when Feagler two-putted forward of them.

“We’re clearly upset we did not get the job accomplished at the moment,” Hybl mentioned. “We knew if we did not play our greatest golf we had been going to get beat. We fought so laborious.”


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