Men’s Golf | January 14, 2024
MARICOPA, Ariz. – The USC men’s golf team began its spring campaign on Sunday morning (Jan 14.) going head-to-head with the UCLA Bruins in the first round of the Copper Cup. After a morning that was postponed to a 9:00 a.m. PT start, just over an hour behind the scheduled start time of 7:45 a.m. PST, the team fought hard throughout the day but wasn’t able to find the Bruins number, and fell by a score of 9-2.
“We started off well in both the morning four-some matches, and the singles in the afternoon,” said head coach Mark Hankins. “We didn’t compete as well as UCLA and lost most of our matches down the stretch throughout the lineup. Tomorrow is another opportunity to show resolve, compete and work to get some wins vs. a Top 10 team in the country, ASU.”
The morning started off in pairs that were selected by Coach Hankins on Saturday night (Jan. 13). He paired Sam Lape and Antonio Safa together, Gavin Aurilia with freshman Nico Dominguez, Shane Ffrench with Krando Nishiba, while Rocky Chapman played on his own. Of the 4 points that were up for grabs in the early session, the Trojans only earned 1 with Rocky Chapman winning his match 1-up. Both Safa / Lape as well as Ffrench / Nishiba went back-and-forth with their opponents throughout the round, but in the end fell to the Bruins, 1-down and 2 and 1, respectively. Aurilia and Dominguez lost their match 6 and 5.
The afternoon offered an opportunity for the Trojans to earn back some of the points they lost in the morning with 7 points on the line. However, the Trojans were unable to capitalize, tying 2 matches and losing 5. Aurilia / Ffrench led the pack, taking home a half point with their tied matches. Lape / Safa fell by a score of 2 and 1, while Nishiba lost 1-down after a close battle with UCLA’s Omar Morales. Chapman couldn’t seem to find the same magic as the morning, losing his match 4 and 3, while Dominquez fell by a score of 5 and 4.