SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Pepperdine would have been the national-title favorites in 2020 had the season not been canceled in March because of COVID-19.
The Waves got their shot at redemption this year and never looked back.
Pepperdine won the 2021 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championship on Wednesday afternoon at Grayhawk Golf Club, defeating Oklahoma in the final match. It’s the second national title in program history – the first coming in 1997 at Conway Farms Golf Club in Lake Forest, Illinois – and first in the match-play era.
“When it got really down to the end it was easy to stay in the moment, but all this stuff leading up, it’s hard not to think, ‘Hey, this could win this thing,’” said head coach Michael Beard, who played four years at Pepperdine.
It was a tightly-contested match for most of the final, with Oklahoma’s Jonathan Brightwell putting the first point on the board with a 1-up win over Dylan Menante. The Waves responded quickly with Joe Highsmith’s 4-and-3 win over Garett Reband. In the final pairing, William Mouw never trailed in his match against sixth-year senior Quade Cummins and delivered the second point for the Waves, 4 and 3.
— Pepperdine Men’s Golf (@PeppGolf) June 3, 2021
Clay Feagler, a redshirt senior who came back for another year, earned the final point for Pepperdine on the 18th green with a 1-up win over Ben Lorenz.
“To be the oldest and fifth-year on this team and have the final point come to me, it’s kind of crazy. I didn’t think it was gonna be me,” said Feagler after the match. “To make that clutch putt on 16 and 17 and to get away with one on 18 after some sort of incident with someone opening a drink, it’s kind of crazy to have a 35 footer and two-putt, that was nuts.
“Everyone said our year was last year and coach at the beginning of the year sat us down said, ‘A lot of people don’t think you can do it this year,’” Feagler continued. “That gave us a little chip on our shoulder, a little motivation and look at us now. We’re standing here, national champions.”