Men’s Golf | March 17, 2023
Sophomore Jackson Rivera and junior Krando Nishiba led a USC men’s golf squad that was firing on all cylinders and raced to the top of the leaderboard during a strong 36-round opener of the two-day N.I.T. on Friday (March 17) at the Omni Tucson (Ariz.) National Resort.
The unranked Trojans, in a field that features eight top 27 teams and five in the top 13, finished two rounds at a combined 19-under to close the first day of action in first by four strokes. Host Arizona is second while No. 3 Arizona State is five back. Troy is seeking its first win of the season.
USC’s first-round 5-under 283 was its fifth-lowest first round of the season but Troy topped it with a season-best-tying 14-under 274 second round and will open Tuesday’s final round at 19-under 557.
Rivera, who closed with a 63 at this tournament as a freshman last season, continued his strong play at the same course and is third at 8-under 136 (69-67), one off the lead.
His two rounds double his rounds in the 60s this season, his second round, with five birdies, matching a season-best.
Nishiba is tied for fourth at 7-under 137 (68-69). His first-round 68 was a season-best effort — one that featured four birdies in a row between 18 and 3 — and he extended his streak of rounds under par to three with his second-round effort.
Sophomore Gavin Aurilia (74-68) and freshman Mahanth Chirravuri (72-70) are tied for 21st at 2-under. Aurilia’s second round matched a season best.
Senior Jack Boulger is tied for 57th while junior Shane Ffrench, playing individually, is tied for 20th.
Final round play begins Saturday at 7:30 a.m. MST. USC tees off starting at 9 a.m.
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