MALIBU, California — The #25 Pepperdine women’s golf team heads to its second tournament of the fall next week as the Waves go to Colorado for the Golfweek Red Sky Classic. Pepperdine’s season got off to a good start at the USF Intercollegiate two weeks ago and the Waves will look to build on their success.
EVENT INFO — The tournament will be held at the par-72, 6,305-yard Red Sky Golf Club, located in Wolcott, Colorado. There will be a single round each day between Monday and Wednesday (Sept. 26-28). Live scoring will be available via Golfstat.
FIELD — In addition to Pepperdine, the 20-team field also includes Central Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, East Tennessee State, Eastern Michigan, Evansville, Fresno State, Idaho, Incarnate Word, Kennesaw State, Little Rock, Mercer, New Mexico State, Northern Arizona , Northern Colorado, Rutgers, Southern Illinois, Washington State and Xavier.
PEPPERDINE LINEUP — The Waves’ lineup consists of sophomore Lauren Gomez (Murrieta, Calif.), junior Kaleia Romero (San Jose, Calif.), junior Lion Higo (Gold Coast, Australia), freshman Jenny Zhu (Nanjing, China) and senior Reese Guzman (Kahului, Hawaii).
EVENT HISTORY — Pepperdine won this tournament four times (2009, 2012, 2013, 2014) when it was known as the Golfweek Conference Challenge. The Waves posted four straight second-place finishes before tying for seventh place last season (last year’s tournament was shortened to two rounds due to inclement weather).
RANKINGS — Golfweek has the Waves at #25 on the publication’s preseason rankings list.
SEASON HIGHLIGHTS — The Waves finished fourth at the season-opening USF Intercollegiate, beating all four other WCC schools plus two Pac-12 programs. Lauren Gomez tied for sixth and Kaleia Romero tied for eighth.
ROSTER — The Waves return five of the six players that saw NCAA Regional action last season. This fall, Pepperdine has seven players (one senior, two juniors, three sophomores and one freshman). Two more freshmen will join the squad in January. One of the late enrollees, Jeneath Wong, is ranked #72 in the WAGR and was listed as one of the top 15 freshmen in the country by Golfweek.
2021-22 RECAP — Pepperdine won its league-best 19th WCC title and then advanced to its 23rd consecutive NCAA Regional last season. The Waves outplayed their seed in Ann Arbor, finishing sixth after coming in at #10. Lauren Gomez swept the WCC Player of the Year and WCC Freshman of the Year honors after winning the league title. She was joined on the All-WCC first team by Lion Higo and Kaleia Romero. Laurie Gibbs was named the WCC co-Coach of the Year.
GIBS — Under the direction of Laurie Gibbs, who is now in her 30th season as head coach, Pepperdine has earned a place as one of the nation’s top golf programs. Gibbs has been honored 14 times as the WCC’s Coach of the Year, was tabbed the West Region Coach of the Year on two occasions and was selected the 2004-05 National Coach of the Year by Golfweek magazine. Gibbs was inducted into the WGCA Coaches Hall of Fame in December 2015. The Waves have won 53 tournaments in her career.
GOLF HISTORY — The Waves have qualified for 12 NCAA Championships, and have recorded eight top-10 finishes and four top-five showings, including a program-best second-place result in 2003. The Waves have won West Coast Conference championships in 19 of the 25 tournaments ever held, including a streak of 14 titles that ran from 2002 to 2015. Fourteen different players have earned All-American honors a total of 30 times. LPGA Tour players have included Katherine (Hull) Kirk, Lindsey Wright, Tamie Durdin, Nadina (Taylor) Light, Misun Cho, Carolina Llano, Danielle Kang, Taylore Karle and Grace Na. Hull was the 2003 National Player of the Year and was inducted into the WGCA Hall of Fame in 2012. Kang won back-to-back US Amateur Championships in 2010 and 2011 and was a US Olympian in 2021.
ABOUT PEPPERDINE UNIVERSITY — Pepperdine boasts a one-of-a-kind athletic department with unprecedented success for a school of its size. The Waves have won NCAA Division I championships in five different men’s sports — one of just 20 schools to have accomplished this feat — and 10 overall. Of this elite group, Pepperdine has the smallest undergraduate enrollment, is the only school without football and is the only university that has not been affiliated with a “major” conference. The Waves have won a total of 26 team or individual national championships in their history. Pepperdine has also earned the Division I-AAA All-Sports Trophy, an award based on postseason success that’s given to the top non-football school, three times (most recently in 2021-22). Located in scenic Malibu, California, the university overlooks the Pacific Ocean and its campus and athletic facilities are regularly voted among the nation’s most beautiful. Pepperdine, which is affiliated with the Church of Christ, ranks #55 overall on US News and World Report’s list of America’s best colleges.