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A school record fell on the first day of the season as the Pepperdine men’s golf team took the lead after Monday’s first two rounds of the Pasadera Collegiate Invitational in Monterey. Dylan Menante and Joe Highsmith are 1-2 in the individual standings.
The Waves established a new record for team score after 36 holes as they’re sitting at 31-under with a total of 529 (265-264) at the par-70 Club at Pasadera. The previous record, 30-under, was set at the Alister MacKenzie Invitational in 2018.
The Waves’ 16-under in the second round and 15-under in the first round are tied for seventh and ninth, respectively, on the all-time 18-hole scoring list.
Pepperdine, coming off the No. 1 national ranking in the spring, has opened an eight-stroke lead over Loyola Marymount with Tuesday’s final round to come. This tournament features five West Coast Conference schools.
There are four Waves in the top seven, five in the top nine and seven in the top 12. As impressive as the official team score was, if the Waves’ five individuals were competing as a team, they would be in first place at 33-under.
- Sophomore Dylan Menante (Carlsbad/Sage Creek High School), who is playing as an individual, has opened up a three-shot lead after firing a 13-under 127 (62-65). The 13-under is the second-best 36-hole score by an individual in Pepperdine history. The 8-under in the first round ties the sixth-best round in program history. Menante had eight birdies in the morning and zero miscues, with four birdies coming in the final five holes. In the afternoon he had four birdies, an eagle and just a single bogey.
- Junior Joe Highsmith (Lakewood, Wash./Bellarmine Preparatory School) is alone in second place with a 10-under 130 (66-64). He had five birdies with one bogey in the first round and four birdies and an eagle in the second round.
- Senior Joshua McCarthy (Danville/De La Salle Hig School) is tied for fifth place with an 8-under 132 (64-68). He had a total of nine birdies and one eagle on the day.
- Playing as an individual, senior Joey Vrzich (El Cajon/Christian High School/Nevada) is also tied for fifth with an 8-under 132 (65-67). He had a total of 11 birdies, seven of them in the first round.
- Freshman Caden Fioroni (San Diego/Torrey Pines High School) is tied for seventh with a 7-under 133 (67-66). He began his first college tournament with birdies on each of his first two holes and had 12 of them on the day.
- Sophomore William Mouw (Chino/Ontario Christian High School) is tied for 10th with a 6-under 134 (68-66). He had eight birdies in all and posted an eagle in both rounds.
- Playing as an individual, junior Derek Hitchner (Minneapolis, Minn./The Blake School) is also tied for 10th with a 6-under 134 (67-67). He had four birdies in the morning. His second round began with five birdies in the first seven holes, and he added one more the rest of the way.
- Playing as an individual, senior RJ Manke (Lakewood, Wash./Bellarmine Prep) is tied for 14th with a 3-under 137 (73-64). After three birdies in the morning, he made a nice bounce-back in the afternoon with seven birdies against just one bogey.
- Playing as an individual, senior Austin Murphy (Morgan Hill/Bellarmine College Preparatory) is tied for 17th at 138 (70-68). He had 11 birdies on the day.
- Senior Clay Feagler (Laguna Niguel/Dana Hills High School) is in 22nd place with an even-par 140 (71-69). He had seven birdies and an eagle combined.
Team Scores: 1. Pepperdine 529; 2. Loyola Marymount 537; 3. Saint Mary’s 545; 4. San Diego 550; 5. BYU 563.
Top Individuals: 1. Dylan Menante (Pepperdine) 127; 2. Joe Highsmith (Pepperdine) 130; T3. Ethan Ashbrook (Saint Mary’s) 131; T3. Riley Lewis (Loyola Marymount) 131: T5. Joshua McCarthy (Pepperdine) 132; T5. Joey Vrzich (Pepperdine) 132; T5. Caden McMackin (Loyola Marymount) 132.
— Roger Horne