Golf: Waves crash party at Amer Ari

  • SHELLY BLUNCK/UHH UH-Hilo sophomore Andrew Otani closed with a 74 on Saturday to finish 2-under at Waikoloa Kings’ Course.

UH-Hilo sophomore Andrew Otani proved himself over three days at Waikoloa Kings’ Course, where it was Pepperdine that finally proved its rank on the final day.

The top-ranked Waves charged back from 12-shot deficit Saturday to win the 29th annual Amer Ari Intercollegiate as three of its golfers shot in the 60s, including medalist William Mouw.

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Mouw fired a 8-under 64 and used an eagle on No. 18 to catch Arizona State’s Mason Andersen (65) at 13-under 203.

The Pepperdine freshman won a one-hole playoff. After Andersen recorded par on No. 18, Mouw made a 6-foot birdie putt for the win. Mouw had a team-high 15 birdies over the three days.

Mouw wasn’t the only Pepperdine golfer to carve up Waikoloa during the third round: freshman Dylan Menante shot 65 to get to 8-under, Joey Vrzich came in at 69 and Sahith Theegala (72) finished in a tie for sixth at 206.

Mouw, began the final round tied for 17th place and eight shots behind the leader, Georgoa Tech’s Tyler Strafaci, who slumped to a 75.

Tying the second-best round in program history at 18-under, the Waves surpassed three teams Saturday, relegating Texas to runner-up, two shots behind at 37-under 827 for the tournament. Arizona State was another shot back, with defending champion Oklahoma State at 35-under and No. 2 Georgia Tech, the second-round leader, rounded out the top five at 34-under.

Finishing tied for third in the individual race at 12-under were U.S Amateur champion Andy Ogletree (70) of Georgia Tech and Oklahoma State’s Aman Gupta (71).

Otani was the top Vulcans player all three days, closing with 74 to finish 2-under and in a tie for 44th among 122 finishers spread over 20 teams, 19 from Division I and the Vuls. Hawaii (21-over) and UH-Hilo (38-over) were 19th and 20, respectively.

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After back-to-back 298s, the Vuls were at 3o6 in the final round: Warren Miller (74) was 101st at 11-over, followed by Dustin Franko (80, 231), Evan Merrier (79, 233) and Taylor Patrick (79, 237).

Trevor Hirata, a Waiakea alum, finished strong with a 71 and was UH’s second-highest scorer at 223.

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