NCAA Golf News

USC Men’s Golf Closes Out First Day at Sahalee Players Championship

USC Men's Golf Closes Out First Day at Sahalee Players Championship

Men’s Golf | September 10, 2023

LOS ANGELES–The USC men’s golf team began their season on Saturday (Sept. 9) competing in the Sahalee Players Championship at Sahalee Country Club in Sammamish, Wash. The Trojans fought hard throughout but finished the day +19, ranked 9th of 12 teams. Illinois currently holds the lead at -9, 10 shots in front of Texas Tech in second. 

In his first round of the day, sophomore transfer Antonio Safa shined, shooting 71 and lurking around the lead, especially on the back nine. Through 16 holes, he was solo second behind Jackson Bucannan of Illinois. Safa shot 74 in the afternoon, finishing the day 2-over, in a tie for 16th. 

During the morning session, Rocky Chapman shot a 4 over 76. However, the sophomore from Surrey, England turned on another gear with a flurry of birdies on 11, 13 and 15 to shoot 70. He finished the day also 2-over tied with Safa and others for 16th. 

Krando Nishiba, the senior from San Diego, Calif., came in behind Chapman and Safa, 6-over for his two loops of Sahalee. In the morning, he shot 76, but found his stride in the afternoon making 5 birdies, shooting 74 and finishing in a tie for 43rd.

Freshman Nicolas Dominguez and Atlanta native Sam Lape mirrored each other with their morning and afternoon rounds. Lape carded a 5-over 77 during his first 18, while Dominguez shot a 9-over 81. However, in their second rounds, Dominguez walked his way to a 4-over 76 finishing tied for 68th, while Lape went out with a 9-over 81 ending his day 72nd.

Senior Gavin Aurilia is playing as an individual this weekend and opened the day steady with a 2-over 74, making par on 12 of the 18 holes that he played. His afternoon, however, ended in a 9-over 81 after a difficult start to the round leading him to finish tied for 62nd.

The final round in the Emerald City will close out the season opener tomorrow (Sept. 10) and the Trojans look to come back strong on Sunday. Aurilia is the first of the Trojans to tee off at 8:45 a.m. PT, with his teammates following him every 10 minutes until Safa tees off at 9:35 a.m. PT. 


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