Joe Highsmith of Pepperdine claimed his first college title on the fourth playoff hole and led the Waves to the team championship by 11 strokes over Stanford in the 74th Western Intercollegiate at Pasatiempo Golf Club, designed by the legendary Alistair MacKenzie, in Santa Cruz.
The sixth-ranked Waves claimed their fourth victory of the season, but first since the Fall, by posting a score of 354-348-344—1046, 4-under-par, while the Cardinal finished second at 358-352-347—1057, followed by San Diego State at 367-355-348—1070, Washington at 350-358-366—1074 and Brigham Young at 361-350-366—1077.
“We’ve been trending upward, so this is big for us,” said Pepperdine Coach Michael Beard, whose Waves were No. 1 in the nation when the bulk of the 2020 season was cancelled because of the Coronavirus pandemic.
“We came in hoping to have our best stuff and it’s great to get out of here with the victory.”
California was sixth at 353-360-371—1084, followed by Oregon at 362-356-367—1085, USC at 363-372-356—1091, host San Jose State at 361-377-358—1096, Colorado State at 366-375-364 and UC Irvine at 371-376-372—1119.
Highsmith carded a score of 72-66-67—205, 5-under, while Puwit Anupansuebai of San Diego State finished at 69-70-66—205 and 36-hole leader Carson Lundell of BYU finished at 68-66-71—205.
All three made par on the first two playoff holes before Anupansuebai dropped out by driving into the weeds and making a double-bogey 6 on the third extra hole as Highsmith and Lundell again made pars.
After Lundell missed his par putt on the fourth playoff hole, Highsmith made a three-foot par putt to win.
“It was absolute craziness,” said Highsmith, who made clutch par putts on the final hole of regulation, and the second and third playoff holes to stay alive. “I made a bogey on No. 17 that was costly and didn’t even know where I stood on the last hole before making a clutch six-footer.
“I’m glad I was able to hang in there and handle my nerves well. It’s been awhile since I’ve been in that position. This is great. It’s so cool to win and it mean a lot to do it on this course.”
Clay Feagler of Pepperdine shot 72-70-66—208 to tie for fourth with Waves teammate Derek Hitchner, who totaled 69-71-68—208, while Henry Shimp of Stanford finished at 72-71-66—209 to tie for sixth with his Cardinal teammate Karl Vilips, who wound up at 73-65-71—209.
Barclay Brown of Stanford was eighth at 72-69-69—210, while Finigan Tilly of Cal totaled 67-73-71—211 to tie for ninth with RJ Manke of Pepperdine, who came in at 68-70-73—211.
Caleb Shetler led San Jose State in a tie for 15th at 73-74-67—214, Leon D’Souza of USC tied for 21st at 72-71-72—215, and Jonathan Kang of UC Irvine tied for 40th at 72-72-75—219.
Rounding out the scoring for team champion Pepperdine were Dylan Menante in a tie for 11th at 72-67-73—212, while William Mouw shot 70-76-68—214 to finish in a tie for 15th that included teammate Joshua McCarthy, who finished at 71-75-68—214, and Austin Murphy tied for 40th at 74-74-71—219.
Past winners of the Western Intercollegiate include Ken Venturi of San Jose State, John Lotz of San Jose State, Jerry Heard of Fresno State, Johnny Miller of BYU, Howard Twitty of Arizona State, Peter Jacobsen of Oregon, Mark Lye of San Jose State, Mark O’Meara of Long Beach State, Bobby Clampett of BYU, Jay Don Blake of Utah State, Duffy Waldorf of UCLA, Sam Randolph of USC, Todd Fisher of USF, Aaron Oberholser of San Jose State, Joel Kribel of Stanford, Jason Allred of Pepperdine, Patrick Rodgers of Stanford, Scottie Scheffler of Texas, Maverick McNealy of Stanford, Justin Suh of USC, Norman Xiong of Oregon and Isaiah Salinda of Stanford.
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