Fifth-ranked Waves men’s golf wins WCC title again

The Pepperdine men’s golf team poses with their trophy and banner after winning the West Coast Conference title. Photo by Kyle Terada.

The Pepperdine Waves men’s golf team, the defending national champs, won the West Coast Conference Golf Championship on April 31 at the Reflection Bay Golf Club in Nevada. 

The Waves shot a 14-under 847 over the three rounds, including a tournament-best 274 on the event’s last day, to claim their fourth consecutive conference championship since 2018. There was no WCC championship event in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Pepperdine has now captured 22 WCC titles in its history. 

BYU and Loyola Marymount tied for second in the tournament with 852 points, and San Francisco placed fourth at 857. 

Pepperdine head coach Michael Beard said his team played awesomely.

Pepperdine Waves coach Michael Beard fistbumps Waves golfers
Pepperdine Waves coach Michael Beard fistbumps Waves golfers after the team won its fourth consecutive West Coast Conference championship. Photo courtesy of West Coast Conference.

‘They really came out like the champions they are and played flawless golf,” he said in a video interview. “LMU played unbelievable well today and really, really kind of gave it to us early, and the guys responded. It was really neat to see them just step up when the expectations were there and perform the way they did. So very, very impressed in how they did this week.” 

Waves golfers Joey Vrzich, a senior, and William Mouw, a junior, tied for second place in the championship’s individual standings. Both finished with a 6-under-par 210, just behind LMU’s Riley Lewis, who shot a 7-under-par 209.

Vrzich’s 210 (71-72-67) included a 5-under on the tournament’s last day. He had seven birdies — four on the front nine and three on the back nine to get to 7-under before a couple of late bogeys. Mouw’s 210 (74-67-69) included six birdies during his 3-under round. He birdied four straight from holes 9-12. He led all players with 17 total birdies. 

Junior Dylan Menante tied for 15th with a 1-under 215 (74-72-69) for Pepperdine. He had five birdies —including two in the last three holes — on the event’s last day. 

Waves senior Derek Hitchner also tied for 15th with a 1-under (71-74-70). He had three birdies in the third round for 2-under. 

Joe Highsmith, a Pepperdine senior, finished tied for 19th with an even-par 216 (72-75-69). He had four birdies in the final round. 

Additionally, on April 19, Menante was named to the U.S. Arnold Palmer Cup team for the second consecutive summer. Menante and the squad’s five other golfers will compete against a group of golfers from across the globe at the Golf Club de Genève in Switzerland from July 1-3. Menante and the American team won last year’s spectacle 33-27 at Rich Harvest Farms in Illinois. 

The Waves, ranked fifth, will next compete in NCAA Regionals. The selections for the event were revealed on Wednesday. 

Beard said Pepperdine is in a good position heading into regionals, which begin on May 16.

“We’re excited about where we are going to possibly go,” he said.