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Krando Nishiba, Jackson Rivera Lead USC Men's Golf In Strong Start To Pac-12 Championships

Apr 25, 2022
Sophomore Krando Nishiba fired a career-best -5 66 second-round to lead USC on the 36-hole opening day of the 2022 Pac-12 Championships.

Sophomore Krando Nishiba turned in a career-best round while freshman Jackson Rivera joined him in the top 10, the duo leading a strong all-around 36-hole first day for the USC men's golf team at the 2022 Pac-12 Men's Golf Championships while  at the Aldarra G.C. in Sammamish, Wash., on Monday (April 25).

USC combined for a 8-over 718 (362-356) two-round effort, arguably its best showing of the season, and is in the hunt for its conference-best 21st title. Troy is 12 back of first-place, and host, Washington (4-under) while Arizona State is second at par.

"I'm really proud of the effort from the team today," USC Coach J.T. Higgins said. "We had it going in round two and put ourselves in a good spot for the next two days.

"Individually, Krando and Jackson were really strong and it was nice to have a bunch of guys contribute. With a good round tomorrow we can move up the board and put ourselves in good position to compete for the championship in the final round."

Rivera (73-68), two events removed from a career-best tie for sixth, is in the same spot after two rounds in Washington along with Nishiba at 1-under, who himself is coming off a career-best tie for 22nd in his previous start.

Nishiba's (75-66) second round was by far his best as a Trojan. He posted seven birdies against just two bogeys on the par-71 course, including two to start his day and three in a row to finish a 5-under front. He closed with sevens straight pars. He had a tough opening nine in the first round, but came home at 1-under.

Rivera's second round was his team-best seventh in the 60s — all 68 or better. He was cooking through 12 holes at 5-under before a brief set back between 13 and 16. But he finished birdie-par to secure a 3-under second round.

Senior Jack Boulger (70-74) and freshman Gavin Aurilia (72-72) are tied for 16th at 2-over, both efforts among their best of the season. Boulger matched his season-low score with his first-round and still remained steady in the second round.

Aurilia bounced around bit throughout both rounds, but his combined eight birdies and a first-round eagle was enough to keep him inside the top 20, which would be a season-best.

Senior Alex Ross — who had a stretch of five straight birdies in the first round — is tied for 46th at 6-over 148 (72-78) while senior Cameron Henry is tied for 67th at 15-over 157 (80-77).

Tuesday's third round starts at 10 a.m., where USC will join UCLA and Oregon off of 1.