WOLCOTT, Colorado – Lion Higo earned her first college victory and the Pepperdine women’s golf team rolled to a 15-shot win at the Golfweek Red Sky Classic on Wednesday.
The Waves finished with a three-day total of an 18-under 846 (285-279-282) at the par-72 Red Sky Golf Club, which far outpaced Kennesaw State’s 861. The team score of 18-under ties the third- best tournament score in program history.
Higo began the day a stroke behind his teammate Lauren Gomez but posted her second straight 5-under 67 to win by three shots. Higo’s winning score of 10-under ties the fourth-best 54-hole score ever by a Pepperdine individual.
Pepperdine has now won this tournament five times (the first four came in 2009, 2012, 2013 and 2014 when it was known as the Golfweek Conference Challenge).
- Junior Lion Higo (Gold Coast, Australia) ended up with a 10-under 206 (72-67-67). Her final round 5-under included seven birdies, with five of them coming on the front nine. Higo had a team-high 15 birdies for the tournament. Her previous best finish was a tie for third at the 2022 West Coast Conference Championships.
- Sophomore Lauren Gomez (Murrieta, Calif.) had the lead after the first and second rounds. She couldn’t hold off her teammate, but still finished second with a 7-under 209 (67-71-71). Her final round 1-under included four birdies, with a run of three straight on holes 6, 7 and 8.
- Freshman Jenny Zhu (Nanjing, China) took 17th place at 218 (75-70-73). She had five birdies on Wednesday.
- Senior Reese Guzman (Kahului, Hawai’i) tied for 18th at 219 (71-76-72). Her even-par third round included two birdies. Guzman finished second among all players with 43 pars at the tournament.
- Junior Kaleiya Romero (San Jose, Calif.) tied for 22nd at 220 (77-71-72). She had five birdies in an even-par final round.
Pepperdine Coach Laurie Gibbs said: “Coach Rich and I are very proud of how every player contributed to the win, especially Lion and Lauren, for finishing first and second individually. We are excited for Lion’s first college win! The players had a good summer and came back ready to compete. They have been committed to improving all parts of their game and that focus is resulting in improved scores. We look forward to playing at New Mexico State next week. The Waves are going to have a great season.”
Lion Higo said: “I’m really stoked to get my first college win and am happy with the way I played this week. I was able to trust my game and take it one shot at a time. I knew that all of my teammates had each other’s backs. We all had a lot of grit and finished off strong. I’m so proud of everyone and really appreciate the work that Coach Laurie and Coach Rich put into our team.”
Pepperdine’s third and final tournament of the fall season is next week’s Golf Iconic Classic hosted by New Mexico State in Las Cruces, NM, from October 3-5.
Team Standings: 1. Pepperdine 846; 2. Kennesaw State 861; 3. Colorado 870; 4. East Tennessee State 873; T5. Xavier 878; T5. Washington State 878; T5. New Mexico State 878; 8. Mercer 880; 9. Delaware 883; 10. Central Arkansas 885; 11. Northern Arizona 887; 12. Fresno State 888; T13. Incarnate Word 892; T13. Rutgers 892; 15. Idaho 907; 16. Little Rock 910; 17. Northern Colorado 913; 18. Eastern Michigan 923; 19. Southern Illinois 929; 20. Evansville 956.
Individual Leaders: 1. Lion Higo (Pepperdine) 206; 2. Lauren Gomez (Pepperdine) 209; 3. Sophie Bert (East Tennessee State) 212; T4. Bella Kil (Kennesaw State) 213; T4. Darcy Habgood (Washington State) 213.