The Pepperdine Waves were crowned National Champions at Grayhawk Golf Club last June. They defeated Oklahoma 3-2 thanks to a few clutch putts down the stretch.
The Waves had limited time to celebrate before turning their attention to a repeat. Collegiate golf is one of the rare two season sports with both a fall and spring season.
We are closing in on another season with so much on tap. There are so many storylines, intriguing players, and fun teams to unpack and digest.
Pepperdine returns four All-Americans.
The defending National Champions parted ways with 3 graduates and 2 transfers this offseason. However, there is still a lot to be excited about in Malibu. Pepperdine returns four All-Americans. Yes, FOUR!
The depth may be gone but the talent is not. Dylan Menante, William Mouw, Joe Highsmith and Joey Vrzich all rank in the top 40 amateurs in the world. Experienced senior Derek Hitchner also returns to round out a star-studded lineup that is poised for a deep run.
The Waves open their season with the Fighting Illini Invitational at Olympia Fields Country Club on September 17th. The Illini already have a win under their belts and will pose a great threat.
The Cowboys have a ton of heat left in the barrel.
The best returning roster may reside in Stillwater and not Malibu. The Oklahoma State Cowboys lost just one player from their semifinalist team last spring. This team won four of their final six tournaments last season before losing to the eventual champs in Pepperdine.
And they return a lot of firepower.
This firepower was on display over Labor Day weekend as they won The Carmel Cup at historic Pebble Beach. The Cowboys carded a cumulative 18-under par score to capture their fourth Carmel Cup in seven years. The Cowboys will also be in action the 17th at the Fighting Illini Invitational.
Texas may have the two best in the nation.
There are some other really good teams and individuals worth mentioning. If you are an avid college golf fan you should keep an eye out for these individuals and programs. Texas returns arguably the best 1-2 punch in Pierceson Coody and Cole Hammer. The dynamic duo participated in the Walker Cup and AT&T Byron Nelson last spring before qualifying for the US Open.
North Florida has gone low and could do it again.
North Florida returns the lowest scoring individual in Sophomore Nick Gabrelcik. He led the Ospreys with an adjusted scoring average of 69.89 last season.
Arizona State returns two Top 25 players.
David Puig and Ryggs Johnston will return for Arizona State this fall, both of whom ranked in the top 25.
Keep an eye on another California school.
Finally, a team that may be flying under the radar after failing to qualify for the National Championship tournament last season is the Stanford Cardinal. They return most of their very talented lineup. After a strange 2020 for California sports this is a team to keep your eye on.
Team Power Rankings:
1. Oklahoma State
4. Arizona State
Individual Power Rankings:
1. Ludvig Aberg Jr. (Texas Tech)
2. Pierceson Coody (Texas)
3. Bo Jin (Oklahoma State)
4. Ricky Castillo Jr. (Florida)
5. Cole Hammer (Texas)