Men's Golf Looks For Postseason Success at WCC Championships
April 10, 2014
MALIBU, Calif. -- The Pepperdine men's golf team has been peaking at just the right time as the Waves near the end of the spring season. Led by second-year head coach Michael Beard, the Waves hope that their best golf is still ahead of them as they take part in the West Coast Conference Championships next week. Pepperdine has won 17 league titles, more than any other school, but will need to add to that total to earn a spot in an NCAA Regional.
EVENT INFO -- For the second straight year, the tournament will be held at the par-72, 7,007-yard Gold Mountain Golf Club, located in Bremerton, Wash. Teams will play 18 holes each day between Monday and Wednesday (April 14-16). Live scoring will be available at www.golfstat.com.
FIELD -- Nine of the 10 WCC schools sponsor men's golf. In order of Golfstat ranking, they are: #35 Brigham Young, #70 San Diego, #86 Saint Mary's, #92 San Francisco, #95 Pepperdine, #96 Santa Clara, #109 Loyola Marymount, #150 Pacific and #159 Gonzaga.
PEPPERDINE LINEUP -- The Waves' lineup will consist of senior Jeremy Sanders (Chatsworth, Calif./New Community Jewish HS/Redlands), sophomore Frederick Wedel (The Woodlands, Texas/The Woodlands HS), junior Kevin DeHuff (Coto de Caza, Calif./Santa Margarita Catholic HS), sophomore Nick Thomas (Westlake Village, Calif./Chaminade College Prep/California) and sophomore David Pelekoudas (Irvine, Calif./University HS/Orange Coast CC). DeHuff will be playing in his third WCC Championship (30th in 2012, T-16th in 2013), while it will be the second for both Sanders (T-18th in 2013) and Wedel (T-23rd in 2013).
WCC HISTORY -- No WCC program has had more success than the Waves, who have captured 17 conference titles, all between 1987 and 2010. Pepperdine has finished either first or second at the WCC Championships 21 times in the last 27 years. The Waves have also had 10 medalists at the event, but none since 2003 (Michael Putnam).
2013-14 HONORS -- Jeremy Sanders was named to the preseason All-WCC team ... Kevin DeHuff was named WCC Player of the Month for March after averaging 70.50 strokes over six rounds, and had a career-best tie for fourth at the ASU Thunderbird Invitational.
2013-14 SEASON STATS -- Jeremy Sanders and Frederick Wedel both head into the WCC Championships with identical 72.93 scoring averages (the team high) ... They're followed by Kevin DeHuff (74.00), Nick Thomas (75.58) and David Pelekoudas (76.78) ... Wedel has led (or tied for the team lead) at six tournaments, while it's four for Sanders and three for DeHuff ... Wedel has team bests of four top-10 finishes, five top-20 results and 10 below-par rounds.
ROSTER -- The breakdown is two seniors, one junior, five sophomores and two true freshmen. Only two golfers entered the season with multiple years of experience with the Waves. Jeremy Sanders was the team's top scorer last season, averaging 73.96 strokes per round. Kevin DeHuff, a regular in the lineup for the third straight year, made the WCC All-Academic first team last season. Sophomore Cody McManus (Phoenix, Ariz./Desert Vista HS), who earned All-WCC honorable mention notice last year, is redshirting this season.
BEARD -- Michael Beard returned to Pepperdine in December 2012 after spending the previous season-and-a-half as an assistant at Arizona State. Beard competed for the Waves between 1999-2002 and was a GCAA All-American honorable mention selection in both 2000 and 2002. He was the medalist at the 2000 NCAA West Regional and the 2002 WCC Championships and was a four-time All-WCC first teamer. He still ranks first in total rounds played (162) and fourth in career scoring average (72.72) at Pepperdine. After playing professionally for several years, he served as an assistant coach at Pepperdine for one season and helped the Waves make the 2011 NCAA Championships.
FOLLOW ONLINE -- The squad has sites on both Facebook (Pepperdine Men's Golf) and Twitter (@PeppMensGolf). You can also follow the coaches on Twitter at @CoachMBeard and @CoachCarlSmith.
JONES INVITATIONAL -- Pepperdine made a return to nearby Saticoy Country Club and hosted the 12-team Jones Invitational on February 24-25. The Waves previously hosted a tournament there from 1999 to 2007, and won it four of the nine previous times (including 2001 when Michael Beard was a senior). USC won this year's event and the Waves were sixth.
SUMMER STANDOUTS -- Sanders and DeHuff played in the 2013 U.S. Amateur at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass. ... Sanders won the L.A. City Championship and tied for second at the Trans-Miss Championship ... McManus finished third in stroke play and then reached the semfinals of match play at the Arizona Amateur Championship ... Thomas tied for third at the San Diego City Amateur Championship.
PEPPERDINE GOLF HISTORY -- Thanks to its victory at the 1997 NCAA Championships, Pepperdine will always be known on a national level for its outstanding men's golf program. The Waves have made eight appearances at the NCAA Championships since 1993 and have made NCAA Regional berths in 19 of the last 22 years. In the West Coast Conference, they've won a league-best 17 championships since 1987 and have finished either first or second in 21 of the last 27 years.
ABOUT PEPPERDINE UNIVERSITY -- Pepperdine boasts a one-of-a-kind athletic department with unprecedented success for a school of its size. The Waves have won NCAA Division I championships in five different men's sports - one of just 16 schools to have accomplished this feat - and nine overall. Of this elite group, Pepperdine has the smallest undergraduate enrollment and is the only school not affiliated with a BCS-level conference. The Waves have earned the Division I-AAA All-Sports Trophy, an award based on postseason success that's given to the top non-football school, three times (most recently in 2011-12). Located in scenic Malibu, Calif., the university overlooks the Pacific Ocean and its campus and athletic facilities are regularly voted among the nation's most beautiful. Pepperdine, which is affiliated with the Church of Christ, ranks #57 overall on U.S. News and World Report's list of America's best colleges.