USC Eighth After Two-Round Opener At N.I.T. In Tucson
Senior Kaito Onishi fired his two best rounds of the season – 70 and 68 – to move into the top 12 while freshman Krando Nishiba opened his USC career with a 1-under 71 first round to highlight the USC men's golf team's 36-hole first day of the N.I.T. at the Omni Tucson (Ariz.) National on Saturday (March 20).
USC combined for a 5-under 571 (287-284) and sits eighth with all 10 teams behind Troy still yet to finish after the second round was called to darkness. Oklahoma State (-29) and Oklahoma (-26) sit atop the team standings.
"Tomorrow is a big day for us," USC Coach J.T. Higgins said. "We need to hold where we are as best we can. There are a lot of top teams in this field and we need to fight for as high a position as we can."
Onishi found his best groove of the season to tie for 12th at 6-under 138 (70-68). He started both rounds with birdies on 10 en route to turning at 1-under in both. He closed his first round with another 1-under nine, going 3-under on his final nine of the day.
Onishi is after his team best fourth top 20 finish and looking to build on his season-best 16th in his last event.
Senior Leon D'Souza (73-72) and Nishiba (71-74) are tied for 57th. D'Souza posted a pair of first-round birdies and then recovered from a 4-over second-round start through 10 holes to close at 4-under over the final eight, including one eagle and three birdies.
Nishiba debuted with a 71 with a four-birdie first round and closed his second round with a 1-under second final nine.
Sophomore Tyler Guo is tied for 67th at 2-over 146 (73-73), the ninth and final hole in both rounds sending him above par.
Freshman Shane Ffrench is tied for 74th at 3-over 147 (76-71). He opened his second round eagle-birdie and was 4-under through 12 holes before some late troubles.
Junior Cameron Henry, competing individually, is tied for 45th at par. He opened with a par 72 and was par through 14 holes in his second round when play was called due to darkness.