The Pepperdine Waves men’s golf team closed its fall season with a dominant victory last week, capping off the season with a member receiving a player of the month honor.
Sophomore golfer Dylan Menante was named the West Coast Conference Golfer of the Month on Nov. 4. Menante, ranked fourth nationally by Golfweek/Sagarin, averaged 69.00 strokes and six of his seven rounds were below-par en route to two second-place finishes in October.
Pepperdine won the Rustic Collegiate Challenge in Moorpark on Nov. 6. The Waves had a total of 21-under 831 (289-269-273) and ended 22 strokes better than the San Diego Toreros at the two-day event.
Menante did not participate in the win but played a crucial role in Pepperdine’s 2020 East Lake Cup victory in Atlanta on Oct 26-28. The second-year Wave was his squad’s anchor in match play and the clinching point in Pepperdine’s 3-2 semifinal victory over Texas Tech and 4-1 championship triumph over Oklahoma.
Menante was on the course when Pepperdine was tied, 2-2, with Texas Tech, and his match was knotted after 16 holes before he won the final two holes to finish with the 2-up victory and propel Pepperdine to the championship. Menante garnered the third point to give the Waves the win.
Earlier in October, Menante, playing as an individual, finished runner up to his teammate, senior Joshua McCarthy at the Pasadera Collegiate Invitational. Both golfers finished with 14-under scores as Pepperdine won the event by 28 strokes.
Menante tied as second with an even-par 216 at Maridoe Collegiate Invitational. The Waves placed second at the tournament.
McCarthy led the golf team to its top finish at its final event of the 2020 season. McCarthy won for the second time this month and the Moorpark win was Pepperdine’s third win in four events. The group outlasted San Diego, BYU, LMU and St. Mary’s.
McCarthy was joined by Pepperdine’s other five participants among the event’s top 10 finishers. Five Waves were among the eight players that finished below-par.
McCarthy won the tournament by three shots with a -under 206 (75-64-67). He had 16 birdies in the event. Senior RJ Manke finished second with a 4-under 209 (71-70-68). He had 38 pars overall. Clay Feagler, another senior, tied for fifth with a 3-under 210. Junior Joe Highsmith also placed fifth with a 3-under 210, and junior Derek Hitcher placed eighth with a 1-under 212. Senior Austin Murphy, golfing as an individual, finished 10th at 215.
In a statement, McCarthy said after playing a poor opening round he found his game in the second.
“To turn it around after the first round means a lot to me,” he said.
Pepperdine coach Michael Beard said heading into the event, he was concerned the Waves might have a letdown in the wake of their East Lake win.
“Our team is very deep and any chance that they get to play, they want to go out and prove to themselves that they belong in the top five,” Beard said.
Pepperdine doesn’t compete again until the team hosts the Jan. 25-27, 2021, Southwestern Invitational by Topgolf at North Ranch Country Club.
Beard said some of the Pepperdine’s golfers will play in amateur events during the gap between team tournaments.
“It’s nice to have a little break right now,” he said. “This fall was a good warmup and a good gauge for where we’re at after last season ended in March.”
McCarthy said the Waves will be looking for more wins in the spring season.
“We’ll have a lot of confidence coming out of this fall and we’ll be looking ahead to the spring,” he said.