Pepperdine Wins 74th Western Intercollegiate; Highsmith Takes Playoff for Individual Honors
Junior Joe Highsmith shot a final round three-under 67 and then won a four-hole playoff over two other players leading Pepperdine University to the team championship at the 74th Western Intercollegiate presented by Topgolf men’s golf tournament.
Ranked ninth nationally by GolfStat, Pepperdine picked up its fourth win of the 2020-21 season and its first team victory of the spring season. The Waves came into the third and final round with a six-shot lead over first-round leader Washington and finished with a 1046 team total in the six-player, score-five format. Stanford moved up to finish second at 1057.
“Our strategy was more on the conservative, aggressive line and where you want to leave yourself if you missed it (a shot). There are so many shots here if you (miss), you have nothing. Talking about where you want to miss and where you want to be putting from (were key),” said Pepperdine head coach Michael Beard, whose team won a Western Intercollegiate, the longest running men’s college golf tournament for the first time.
San Diego State moved up to third at 1070; Washington dropped to fourth at 1074; and Brigham Young was fifth in the 13-team field with a 1077. Host San Jose State was ninth at 1096.
Highsmith, San Diego State’s Puwit Anupansuebsai and second-round leader Carson Lundell of Brigham Young tied at five-under par 205 after 54 holes on the par 70, 6615-yard Pasatiempo Golf Club course. Highsmith played 42 holes from the first into the third round without a bogey until he reached the 17th hole when his bogey-5 dropped him back to five-under par.
Lundell started the day with a one-shot lead at six-under par and survived a final round 71 with pars on the last two holes for a spot in the playoff. Anupansuebsai was the hottest golfer on the course for his first eight holes with six birdies and was first to post a five-under par 205 with his final round 66 matching the lowest score of the day.
After each player parred the par-3 18th hole twice, Anupansuebsai was the first player eliminated on the third playoff hole with his triple bogey seven on the par-4 10th hole while Lundell and Highsmith made par. Highsmith, who needed a 15-foot par putt on the second playoff to stay in contention, then had a tap-in par-4 on the fourth playoff for the win after Lundell missed a short putt for his par.
“I was extremely nervous (in the playoff). It may not have looked like it out there, but I felt the nerves and I was glad I handled it fairly well. To get it done was cool,” said Highsmith about the playoff experience.
Only eight players in the 90-player field finished with an under-par total in the 90-player. The top San Jose State finisher was Caleb Shetler who had a final-round 67, the same score as the winner Highsmith, to finish in a 15th place tie at 214.
“Pasatiempo never looked better. It was fantastic. I want to thank the members and the staff at Pasatiempo – Scott Hoyt, our alum and general manager; Ken Woods, the head pro; and Justin Mandon, the course superintendent. Everyone here did an amazing job of putting this (tournament) together and getting the course ready,” said San Jose State men’s golf coach and Western Intercollegiate host John Kennaday.
“It (the GOLF Channel) coverage impacts the entire community. That’s the wonderful thing. You go through different layers affects the economy here, the notoriety of Santa Cruz, the lifelong memories the kids have,” Kennaday added about GOLF Channel’s commitment to the Western Intercollegiate and to college golf.
74th Western Intercollegiate presented by Topgolf
Pasatiempo Golf Club, Santa Cruz, Calif.
Par 70, 6,615 yards
Final 54-hole results
San Diego State 1070
Brigham Young 1077
Southern California 1091
San Jose State 1096
Colorado State 1105
UC Irvine 1119
Joe Highsmith, Pepperdine 72-66-67-205 (-5)**
Carson Lundell, Brigham Young 68-66-71-205 (-5)
Puwit Anupansuebsai, San Diego State 69-70-66-205 (-5)