Pepperdine & Hitchner, Kansas & Sigel Advance to NCAA Championships

May 19, 2022
By Michael R Fermoyle

Pepperdine University, the defending NCAA Division I champion, had three players finish in the top 10 indivdually at the NCAA Bryan Regional on Wednesday. Joe Highsmith was the medalist with a 54-hole total of 210 (69-72-69) at Traditions Golf Club in Bryan, Texas, and his teammate William Mouw was one stroke behind, tied for second at 211, along with Arizona's Chase Sienkiewicz. 

Derek HItchner, the 2021 MGA Player of the Year, opened the regional with a 67 and followed it with a 72. That had him tied for fourth going into the final round, but the reigning Minnesota State Amateur champion closed with a 75 and slipped back into a tie for 10th at 214. 

The performances by Highsmith, Mouw and Hitchner enabled the Waves to advance fairly easily to this year's NCAA Championships, which will be played May 27 through June 1, at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz. 

In addition to the State Am, Hitchner won the Trans-Mississippi Amateur last summer. He is also a former Minnesota state high school champ, having set a scoring record of 134 at the Class AA tournament at Ridges at Sand Creek in 2016, when he was a sophomore at Blake.  

Arizona had two players in the top 10, and all five among the top 29 individual finishers, which enabled the Wildcats to claim first place in the team standings with a three-round aggregate of 851. Pepperdine matched Arizona's Day 3 score of even-par 288 and took second with an overall 856 (minus 8).

Texas A&M was third at 860 and Georgia fourth, another three back at 863. There were six regionals taking place this week, and five teams from each advanced. Securing the fifth spot from the Bryan Regional was Kansas, which had the third-best score of the day (291) and finished at 867. That was 11 better than the sixth-place finisher, SMU.

The Kansas lineup includes Ben Sigel, the former Minnesota state Class AAA high school champ (2016) from Minnetonka. He followed a pair of 74's with a 76 and tied for 45th at 224.  

NCAA Bryan Regional

At Traditions Golf Club

Par 72, 7,146 yards

Bryan, Texas

Final results (the top five teams advance to the NCAA Championships, May 27-June 1, at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz. 

1. Arizona                            276-287-288--851

2. Pepperdine                      279-289-288--856

3. Texas A&M                      280-286-294--860

4. Georgia                            279-285-299--863

5. Kansas                             289-287-291--867

Teams that did not advance

6. SMU                                  288-293-297--878

7. Tennessee                        295-284-301--880

8. Michigan State                  293-295-296--884

9. Oregon State                     285-290-310--885

10. Colorado State                293-303-292--888

11. Boise State                      296-301-305--902

12. Southeastern Louisiana  306-296-301--903

13. Texas Southern               312-316-328--956

Individuals (one individual not with an advancing team also qualifies from each of the six regionals for the NCAA tournament)

1. Joe Highsmith, Pepperdine        69-72-69--210

T2. Chase Sienkiewicz, Arizona     65-74-72--211

T2. William Mouw, Pepperdine       71-69-71--211

4. Walker Lee, Texas A&M             71-70-71--212

T5. Maxwell Ford, Georgia             69-73-71--213

T5. Carson Barry, Oregon State     70-69-74--213 (won playoff with Noah Goodwin to advance as an individual)

T5. Noah Goodwin, SMU                71-68-74--213

T10. Derek Hitchner, Pepperdine 67-72-75--214

T45. Ben Sigel, Kansas                 74-74-76--224

NCAA Palm Beach Regional 

At PGA National  - Champion Course

Par 72, 7,048 yards

Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

Final results 

1. Vanderbilt                            285-282-277--844

2. Florida State                       297-279-280--856

3. Florida                                 294-284-284--862

4. South Florida                       290-292-294--876

5. College of Charleston          294-292-292--878

 Teams that did not advance

 6. Little Rock                           295-302-292--889

7. Purdue                                 305-299-286--890

8. San Diego                            303-294-294--891

9. Notre Dame                          292-296-308--896

10. New Mexico                        298-297-307--902
11. Davidson                             293-304-306--903

12. Indiana                               308-304-2989--910

13. Charleston Southern         304-310-321--935

14. Loyola Maryland                324-315-320--959


1. Brett Roberts, Florida State       74-68-67--209

T2. Reid Davenport, Vanderbilt      72-72-67--211

T2. Fred Biondi, Florida                  72-69-70--211

T4. Gordon Sargent, Vanderbilt      74-72-66--212

T4. Kieron van Wyk, Charleston     69-69-74--212

T6. Zack Byers, Gardner-Webb      72-70-71--213 (advanced as an individual)

T6. Sam Nicholson, So. Florida       68-71-74--213

59. Carson Herron, New Mexico   79-78-77--234

Columbus Regional 

At The Ohio State University's Scarlet Course

Par 71, 7,422 yards

Columbus, Ohio

Final results 

?T1. Oklahoma State                    280-281-281--842

T1. Georgia                                  290-271-281-842

3. Ohio State                                290-284-282--856

4. Arkansas                                 292-286-281--859

5. East Tennessee State             286-290-286--862

Teams that did not advance

T6. San Francisco                        288-290-288--866

T6. Clemson                                289-286-291--866

8. Duke                                        290-289-288--867

T9. Kentucky                               294-291-283--868

T9. Wright State                          297-287-284--868

11. Northwestern                         295-289-288--872

12. Florida Gulf Coast                  298-294-282--874

13. Southern Illinois                      307-307-295--909


1. Eugenio Lopez-Chacarra, Okla. State   69-69-68--206

2. Ross Steelman, Georgia Tech               72-67-68--207

3. Thomas Giroux, Oakland                       71-69-70--210 (advanced as an individual)

T4. Benjamin Reuter, Geogia Tech            72-68-71--211

T4. Jackson Chandler, Ohio State             72-69-70--211                                
T4. Remi Chartier, E. Tennessee State      72-70-69--211

T49. Frankie Capan, Fla. Gulf Coast        77-70-74--221

T53. Brady Madsen, Fla. Gulf Coast         74-76-72--222

Michael R Fermoyle

Mike Fermoyle’s amateur golf career features state titles in five different decades, beginning with the State Public Links (1969), three State Amateurs (1970, 1973 and 1980), and four State Four-Ball championships (1972, 1985, 1993 and 2001). Fermoyle was medalist at the Pine to Palm in 1971, won the Resorters in 1972, made the cut at the State Amateur 18 consecutive years (1969 to 1986), the last being 2000, and amassed 13 top-ten finishes. Fermoyle also made it to the semi-final matches at the MGA’s annual match play championship, the Players’, in 1982 and 1987.

Fermoyle enjoyed a career as a sportswriter at the St. Paul Pioneer Press Dispatch before retiring in 2006. Two years later he began a second career covering the golf beat exclusively for the MGA and its website,, where he ranks individual prep golfers and teams, provides coverage on local amateur and professional tournaments and keeps tabs on how Minnesotans are faring on the various professional tours.

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