USC Men's Golf In Final Fall Event At Golf Club Of Georgia Collegiate
The 2021-22 USC men's golf team, under second-year head coach J.T. Higgins and featuring seven new golfers to complement four returners, will play its final tournament of the fall season at the 15th Golf Club of Georgia Collegiate, Friday through Sunday (Oct. 22-24), at the Golf Club of Georgia in Alpharetta.
USC is part of a 15-team field that includes 10 teams ranked in the top 50 by Golfstat and Golfweek. In addition to USC and host Georgia Tech competing this week will be Clemson, Colorado State, Duke, East Tennessee State, Pepperdine, Stanford, Tennessee, Texas A&M, TCU, UCLA, Virginia and Wake Forest.
The tournament, at the Yellow Jackets' home, is played on the 7,092-yard, par 72 Lakeside Course. Play begins at 9 a.m. ET Friday and Saturday and at 8:30 a.m. on Sunday. Results will be at golfstat.com.
USC has won the event twice in the previous 14 tournaments, most recently in the fall of 2018 when the Trojans won it by one stroke while Justin Suh posted a four-stroke individual win at 14-under 202. In the spring of 2008, USC won the event by three strokes, led by Jamie Lovemark's tie for second.
USC's starting lineup in Georgia will feature true freshmen Jackson Rivera and Gavin Aurilia, junior Tyler Guo and senior transfers Jack Boulger and Alex Ross.
Rivera and Aurilia are the only Trojans to start in each of USC's fall events while it is Boulger's third fall start and the second for Guo.
USC has opened the 2021-22 season with a 16th in the Marquette Intercollegiate, a 14th at the Maridoe Invitational and a tie for 10th at the Colonial Collegiate Invitational.
Freshman Jackson Rivera has been USC's top finisher in all three events. He tied for 18th in the opener at 4-under 212, tied for 28th in the second event at 8-over 224 and tied for 13th at the third at 2-over 212 thanks to a final-round 65.
Rivera leads the Trojans with a stroke average of 72.00 with a team best four rounds of par or better. Fellow freshman Gavin Aurilia has three rounds of par or better.
Four Trojans played in the Washington County Individual in the opening weekend, also in Wisconsin, and graduate transfer Alex Ross took medalist honors with one-stroke win at 12-under 132 (64-68). Redshirt freshman transfer Parker Rostowsky tied for ninth at 6-under 138 (66-72).
For Ross, his 64 was the lowest USC round since Justin Suh's 64 to open the Western Intercollegiate on April 15, 2019. It was the lowest-round by a first-year Trojan since Kaito Onishi's 63 as a freshman in the 2017-18 season and the lowest USC debut round in at least 20 years.
In his first year with the Trojans, Higgins guided USC through the 2021 spring-shortened season to a berth in the NCAA Tallahassee Regional.
This year's squad features four returning Trojans in senior Cameron Henry, junior Tyler Guo and sophomores Shane Ffrench and Krando Nishiba.
USC has seven newcomers including three true freshmen and four transfers (one of whom is a redshirt freshman who didn't play last year).
The new septet include true freshmen Gavin Aurilia, Jackson Rivera and Daniel Tang. USC's four transfers are fifth-year senior Alex Ross (Davidson), senior Jack Boulger (Connecticut), junior Parker Sisk (San Jose State) and redshirt freshman Parker Rostowsky (Georgia).
Troy's key losses were outgoing seniors Leon D'Souza and Kaito Onishi.
Trojan Talking Points
Shane Ffrench was was the lone Trojan to start and play in all nine of USC's tournaments last season. He was a member of the 2021 All-Pac-12 Newcomer Team and is Troy's leading returner in 2021 stroke average (72.68), rounds of par or better (12) and rounds under par (nine).
Tyler Guo finished with a 74.72 stroke average (which saw 19 counting rounds) and three rounds under par as a sophomore, all in his career-best effort at the Amer Ari Invitational. There, he tied for second at 7-under 209 (68-68-71). Guo was named a 2021 Srixon/Cleveland Golf All-America Scholar, boasting a 3.51 cumulative GPA as a business administration major, and was also part of the 2021 Pac-12 Spring Academic Honor Roll.
USC's lone returning senior is Cameron Henry. As a 2021 junior, he was a seven-time starter for the Trojans who finished with a 73.68 stroke average, seven rounds of par or better, two top 16 finishes and three in the top 26. His season was highlighted by a tie for 10th at the Amer Ari Invitational at 5-under 211 (70-72-69), his final round a season-best.
Sophomore Krando Nishiba saw action in two events as a sophomore, both starts.
Freshman Gavin Aurilia graduated from Arcadia (Ariz.) High where he won the 2019 Division II state championship at 6-under 140 while leading his squad to a third-place state finish as the No. 2-ranked player in the state. Aurilia put together a dominating win at the 2021 IMG Junior World Championship in the 15-18 division, posting a 4-stroke victory at Torrey Pines with a 3-under 281 (72-71-66-72), taking control of the tournament with a 5-under third round. He is the son of longtime Major League Baseball player Rich Aurilia.
Freshman Jackson Rivera graduated from Torrey Pines High in San Diego where he was a four-time Rolex All-American. He rose to the No. 2 ranked junior golfer in California in 2020 and was top-ranked by AJGA. Rivera qualified for the 2021 U.S. Amateur and he won the 2020 Rancho Santa Margarita Amateur. In 2018, Rivera represented the U.S. at the biennial The Junior Open Championship on the Eden Course at St. Andrews and played for the West team at the Wyndham Cup.
Freshman Daniel Tang, who hails from Beijing, has a broad collection of pro tournament and amateur experience, including playing in the prestigious Sina Cup in 2020. He has played in four PGA Tour China events, most recently finishing third at the 2020 PGA Tour China Qualifying School, earning full exempt status. He was the low amateur at the 2019 Haikou Open (36th), made the cut at the 2018 Zhuhai Open and was the qualifier medalist at the Huangshan Open.
Fifth-year senior Alex Ross is an Atlantic 10 All-Conference first team performer who helped Davidson College win a pair of league championships during a four years with the Wildcats. He once fired a competitive round of 15-under 57. Ross played in 35 career rounds for the Wildcats and was a key part of 2018 and 2021 Atlantic 10 Conference titles, helping the Wildcats to its first two NCAA Championships Regional appearances both seasons.
Senior transfer Jack Boulger from Connecticut played three seasons for the Huskies, playing in 19 career tournaments between 2018-2020 with 13 career rounds of par or better, two rounds in the 60s and seven career top 30 finishes. He did not compete collegiately in the 2020-21 season.
Parker Sisk, a junior transfer from San Jose State, brings solid Division I experience to USC. Sisk competed for San Jose State in 2019 and 2020, playing in a combined 10 tournaments. As a 2020 sophomore, Sisk was a Srixon/Cleveland Golf All-America Scholar. He saw action in six events and was fifth on the team with a stroke average of 73.22, including five rounds in the 60s.
Parker Rostowsky is a 2022 redshirt freshman transfer from Georgia who did not see action as a true freshman with the Bulldogs. He graduated from Mount Paran High in Atlanta, where he was the 2018 Class A Golfer of the Year. A three-time All-State selection, he claimed state medalist honors once and region honors twice. He was the Cobb County Male Athlete of the Year and the Golfer of the Year in 2018 and won seven individual high school tournaments. He also was the kicker on the Mount Paran football team, earning honorable mention All-State honors while twice being named to the All-Region and All-County teams on the gridiron.