Dylan Menante of Pepperdine
Defending men’s NCAA champion Pepperdine seems to be gearing up for a run to retain the title. The Waves, No. 2 ranked in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings, recently captured the Valspar Collegiate Invitational at Floridian National Golf Club in Palm City, Florida by 14 strokes over No. 18 Florida State for their second victory of the season, having also won the Golf Club of Georgia Collegiate in the fall.
Pepperdine finished at 274-266-278—818, 34-under-par, while Florida State wound up at 274-285-273—832. Wake Forest was third at 280-281-276—837, followed by Duke at 285-276-277—838, third-ranked Arizona State at 272-282-285—839, Ohio State at 276-285-279—840, and fifth-ranked North Carolina at 281-275-285—841. USC, ranked 100th, finished 14th at 283-293-290—866.
Dylan Menante, a Waves a junior from Carlsbad ranked 37th in the nation who has finished second on four occasions this season and won the Northeast Amateur Invitational last summer, claimed his first college title by one stroke over Frederik Kjettrup of Florida State.
Menante carded a winning score of 64-65-70—199, 14-under, while Kjettrup of Florida State was second at 64-72-64—200, and Ludvig Aberg of Texas Tech shot 67-68-67—202 to tie for third with Jacob Bridgeman of Clemson, who finished at 67-63-72—202.
Jackson Rivera of USC shot 66-68-70—204 to tie for sixth, while William Mouw of Pepperdine posted a score of 71-69-67—207 to tie for 10th, and rounding out the scoring for team champion Pepperdine were 63rd-ranked Derek Hitchner in a tie for 22nd at 71-66-74—211 and Ian Maspat in a tie for 31st at 72-71-69—212.
The Waves will defend their title in the Western Intercollegiate on April 11-13 at Pasatiempo Golf Club in Santa Cruz.
Stanford, ranked No. 16, led much of the way before finishing third behind No. 7 Washington and No. 43 Nevada in The Goodwin at the Stanford Golf Course in Palo Alto.
UC Davis, ranked 57th, finished eighth, No. 48 San Francisco was in a tie for 12th with No. 65 University of San Diego, while No. 84 California was 15th, No. 87 Long Beach State finished 17th, No. 70 UCLA was 18th, No. 86 St. Mary’s wound up 20th, No. 81 San Jose State came in 23rd and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo was 24th.
Peyton Callins of Nevada claimed the individual title followed by Lucas Carper of UC Davis and Sampson Zheng of Cal, while Michael Thorbjornsen of Stanford, ranked 15th in the nation, finished in a tie for eighth.Other players in the top 100 of the national rankings include No. 17 Thomas Hutchison of UC Davis, No. 45 Karl Vilips of Stanford, No. 53 Joe Highsmith of Pepperdine and No. 55 Joey Vrzich of Pepperdine.