Waves men’s golf finishes NCAA Championships in fifth place

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Pepperdine Waves coach Michael Beard (left) and Waves golfer Derek Hitchner converse during the NCAA Championships in Scottsdale, Arizona. Photo by Sarah Otteman.

Pepperdine now has six top-10 finishes all-time

The Pepperdine Waves men’s golf team’s season came to a close in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championships on May 30.

The Waves were defeated by Georgia Tech 3-2 at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz. 

Graduate students Derek Hitchner and Sam Choi snagged the first two points of the match for Pepperdine.

Hitchner defeated Christo Lamprecht, 4 and 3. The match was close, but Hitchner birdied the 12th and 13th holes to lead by two. Hitchner birdied on 17 and shot par on 18 to take a three-hole advantage. He birdied on 19 and on the second hole. Lamprecht closed the scoring gap on the fourth hole, but Hitchner birdied the par-3 five hole and gained a four-point lead. He finished the match on his 15th hole of the day.

Choi downed Connor Howe, 2 and 1. Choi was behind but began his comeback on the 17th hole when Howe bogeyed. Choi then birded the third and fourth holes, which gave him a one-point lead. Howe bogeyed again on the seventh hole. That put Choi up by two points. He never relinquished the lead. 

Waves graduate students Luke Gifford and Roberto Nieves, and William Mouw, a senior, were defeated in their matches. 

Pepperdine finished the NCAA Championships in fifth place. This was the third straight season that Pepperdine advanced to the quarterfinals. The Waves won the national title in 2021. Pepperdine now has six top-10 finishes all-time. 

The Florida Gators defeated Georgia Tech 3-1 to win the national championship on May 31.