Men’s Golf | March 18, 2023
Sophomore Jackson Rivera completed one of the top individual performances in program history, tying for first at the Arizona-hosted N.I.T. on Saturday (March 18) at the Omni Tucson National Resort.
The Trojans, who began Saturday’s final round in first against a field featuring eight top 27 teams and five in the top 12, ultimately finished sixth at 17-under 847 (283-274-290). That was still ahead of four teams inside the top 30, including beating two top 13 teams.
Rivera tied for first at 13-under 203 (69-67-67), finishing even with Arizona’s Zach Pollo, the duo three ahead of the next closest finisher.
For Rivera, the 13-under showing tied for the 12th-lowest 54-hole total in almost three decades of Trojan golf. It also marked his first collegiate effort registering all three rounds in the 60s in one event.
The last Trojan better than Rivera over 54 holes was All-American and current PGA rookie Justin Suh, who fired a 16-under at the same event in 2019.
The first-place result was the second for Rivera, who opened the season at the Husky Invitational with a win at 8-under. Today, he went out at 2-under and was 4-under on the back until a bogey on 18, only his third of the tournament.
“Although we are disappointed with the finish, it’s hard not to draw a lot of positives out of this week,” USC Coach J.T. Higgins said. “We beat a lot of great teams and we are beginning to see that we can compete with the best teams in golf. Our good golf is as good as anybody, we just need to keep putting ourselves in position to win and we will get more and more comfortable in these situations.
“Jackson Rivera was awesome this week. He played smart, stayed within himself and was as mentally tough and prepared to compete as I have ever seen him. He has worked hard all spring and it’s nice to see it pay off.
Junior Krando Nishiba tied for 20th at 3-under 213 (68-69-76) while sophomore Gavin Aurilia (74-68-74) and freshman Mahanth Chirravuri (72-70-74) tied for 44th.
Senior Jack Boulger tied for 59th at 4-over 220 (75-70-75) while junior Shane Ffrench, playing individually, was 84th at 14-over 230 (74-77-79).
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