Pepperdine rolls to 13th consecutive West Coast championship title
BREMERTON, Wash. -- Pepperdine rolled to its 13th consecutive league title, winning the 2014 West Coast Conference championships by 17 strokes on Wednesday. Afterward, Grace Na was named WCC player of the year for the fourth consecutive year.
The eighth-ranked Waves have been victorious at 16 of the 18 WCC championships contested.
Pepperdine shot a total of 877 (285-294-298) over the three days at the par-72 Gold Mountain Golf Club. Gonzaga finished in second place at 894. The Waves led the Bulldogs by seven shots after the first round and 13 strokes after the second round. Gonzaga closed the gap a bit early in the third round before the Waves pulled away.
"Obviously, I'm very proud of the team," Pepperdine coach Laurie Gibbs said. "We had kind of a slow start today but we really got it going on the back nine and closed it out. The girls played really solid golf for three rounds."
The Waves have earned the league's automatic bid to NCAA postseason play. NCAA regional selections will be announced on Monday, April 28. Regionals will be held May 8-10 in Tallahassee, Fla.; Stillwater, Okla.; and Elum, Wash. The NCAA championships are May 20-23 in Tulsa, Okla.
In somewhat of an upset, the Waves didn't produce the medalist for only the fourth time in 18 championship events. Still, Pepperdine had four golfers place in the top seven.
Senior Liv Cheng and sophomore Marissa Chow both tied for second place with 3-over 219s. Cheng shot 70-75-74 and Chow was at 74-72-73. Both players had good finishes to their tournaments. Cheng had two birdies on her final six holes and Chow recorded an eagle on the par-5 sixth hole.
Na, a senior, who had won two of the last three WCC titles, tied for fifth place at 220 (72-72-76). Still, she earned her fourth WCC player of the year award after a tremendous regular season that included two victories and a No. 6 national ranking by Golfweek/Sagarin.
Junior Somin Lee came in seventh at 222 (72-75-75). Lee had a team-best three birdies on the day. Junior Alina Ching wound up in 14th place at 232 (71-78-83).
In other post-tournament honors, Cheng and Na became the ninth and 10th players in program history to earn All-WCC first team honors all four years. Chow and Lee both made the All-WCC first team for the second time. Ching was awarded honorable mention. It's the 12th consecutive year that the Waves have put at least four of their players on the All-WCC first team.