Men’s Golf | September 19, 2022
The USC men’s golf team kicked off the 2022-23 season in style, racing for the lead at the Husky Invitational on Monday (Sept. Jackson Rivera leading the field (7 below) while the second year Gavin Auilia (3-under) and freshman Mahanth Chirravuri (par) joining him in the top 10.
The Trojans, seeking their first team win in three seasons, put themselves in good stead and led the 15-team event with 2 under, two holes short of completing the full 36 holes at the Gold Mountain GC Olympic Course. Host Washington is in second place, while the other Northwest Washington State and Oregon schools are tied for third with 7-over.
USC opened with a collective 2-over and is 7-under with his two holes to go. The last time Troy posted a round 7 below or better was in Spring 2021.
“We started a little slow and I think the guys did a good job, not getting frustrated, because we had scoring opportunities that didn’t come early,” said the USC third-year coach. JT Higgins said. “But once the top was opened up on the birds, they started coming in en masse.”
Rivera was unable to finish his final two holes due to darkness and will complete his second round on Tuesday morning. USC’s top player from a year ago, Rivera has a two-stroke lead going into holes 8 and 9 tomorrow.
“Jackson was solid all day,” Higgins said. “But everyone else advanced in the second round and put together 18 really good ones. It was a lot of fun, and it’s fun to be in contention again.”
Rivera opened his season with 67, his 10th career round under 70 and his eighth in his last 17 rounds since last season, with a chance of 11 when the sun comes up.
Aurilia is third at 3-under 141 (73-68), her second round her best effort as a Trojan, besting her rookie by one hit. Aurilia, after her first round of 1 over, started her second round of 2 over through four holes, but deflected three of her next four to turn at 1 under. He then birdied 5 and eagle 6, returning home at 3-under.
The lineup was reinforced by Chirravuri, who debuted in style. An Arizona native like Aurilia, Chirravuri is tied for ninth on par 144 (77-67). After an opening 5-over, he caught fire in the second round, coming out at 4-under with five birdies (including a 60-foot birdie on the par 3) and coming home at 1-under.
Chirravuri’s 67 is the lowest by a rookie in a Trojan’s debut event since Yuxin Lin started fall 2019 with 66 in the first round.
Junior Parker Sisk is tied for 54th at 10 over 154 (78-76), birdieing his last hole of the day to save a late shot. Junior Krando Nishiba is tied for 70th with 15 out of 159 (76-83). He posted a first-round tally score thanks to an eagle at 6.
Meanwhile, at the Husky Individual Invitational, Senior Grade and Second Year Trojan Jack Boulger is in first with 7 under 135 (68-67). His two rounds today are his two best as a Trojan. He used three 9 birdies in the first round for his 68 and then birdies the final four holes of the night to record his best 67 for USC.
The tournament ends Tuesday with a start at 7:30 1 and 10.