Spring preview 2019: West Coast Conference

Spring preview 2019: West Coast Conference

College

Spring preview 2019: West Coast Conference

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As the college golf season gets ready to resume, Golfweek will preview each automatic-qualifier conference in Division I, offering picks to win, midseason All-Conference teams and more.

All of our conference previews will reside here.

Next up: West Coast Conference
• • •

Men

Conference championship: April 25-27, The Reserve at Spanos Park, Stockton, Calif.

Defending champion: Pepperdine

Team rankings: Pepperdine (11), BYU (17), San Francisco (59), St. Mary’s (Calif.) (70), Santa Clara (90), Loyola Marymount (119), Gonzaga (171), Pacific (187), San Diego (232)

Midseason All-Conference team: Peter Kuest, BYU (13); Clay Feagler, Pepperdine (25); Joshua McCarthy, Pepperdine (48); Matthew McCarty, Santa Clara (68); Rhett Rasmussen, BYU (80)

What to expect: There are two elite teams in this group and it will very likely come down to the pair. Despite being without top player Sahith Theegala – who has been dealing with injury and is likely to redshirt – Pepperdine has continued to grow. The Waves are a borderline top 10 team coming out of the fall. But BYU is right there with them. The Cougars finished 2017-18 ranked 40th but enter the spring in the top 20. The teams have split the last two conference titles, with BYU victorious in 2017 and Pepperdine taking the crown last year. While the Waves have the rankings edge at the moment, being without Theegala will eventually catch up with them. His absence will eventually cause just enough of a dip for the Cougars to step in.

Pick to win: BYU

• • •

Women

Conference championship: April 18-20, Manito CC, Spokane, Wash.

Defending champion: BYU

Team rankings: Pepperdine (23), BYU (90), Santa Clara (99), San Francisco (118), Gonzaga (170)

Midseason All-Conference team: Hira Naveed, Pepperdine (12); Momoka Kobori, Pepperdine (90); Rose Huang, BYU (196); Quynn Duong, Gonzaga (213); Hannah Haythorne, Pepperdine (219)

What to expect: Pepperdine came so close to dethroning BYU last year, ultimately losing to the Cougars in a playoff. Alas, the Waves could not prevent a third straight BYU conference title. But stopping the four-peat does appear rather likely. The Waves have progressed this season while the Cougars dropped nearly 50 spots from its ranking at the end of last season. At the moment, Pepperdine is clearly the conference’s best team. With only five teams competing in this conference championship, there is no automatic bid to regionals here. But the Waves will very likely be ranked high enough to earn an at-large regionals bid regardless.

Pick to win: Pepperdine

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