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Libby native Ryggs Johnston places 3rd at NCAA Division I Men's Golf Championship

Ryggs Johnston
Posted at 6:30 PM, May 31, 2021

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Libby native Ryggs Johnston placed third at the NCAA Division I Men's Golf Championship on Monday, finishing two strokes out of first place.

Johnston, a sophomore at Arizona State, shot a 1-under-par 69 at Grayhawk Golf Club on Monday to finish with 275 total strokes. Turk Pettit of Clemson won the individual championship with 273 total strokes. Pettit shot a 70 on Monday to overtake Bo Jin of Oklahoma State, who finished in second place after shooting a 73 on Monday.

Johnston got off to a slow start at the four-round tournament, shooting a 2-over-par 72 on Friday. He bounced back in a big way on Saturday, though, firing a tournament-low 63. Johnston shot a 71 on Sunday before finishing his championship performance with Monday's 69.

After a double bogey on the par-4 No. 7 and a birdie on the par-4 ninth on Monday, Johnston finished the front nine at 1-over. He got off to a quick start on the back, carding birdies on the 11th and 12th holes. He added another birdie on No. 15 to get to 2-under-par on the day and within one stroke of the lead. He closed with a bogey on the 520-yard 18th to finish in third place overall.

Johnston's showing helped Arizona State shoot 5-under-par on Monday and finish atop the team leaderboard. The top eight teams enter into match play on Tuesday, competing in quarterfinal and semifinal matchups. The championship match is Wednesday.

Johnston is one of the standout golfers in Montana high school history. He won four state championships on the links, winning Class B state titles in the springs of 2016 and 2017 and Class A championships in the falls of 2017 and 2018 after Libby moved up a classification between the 2016-17 and 2017-18 academic years. He holds both the Class A and Class B records for best state meet performances. He first set the Class B record of 128 strokes in the spring of 2017 and then got the Class A record that fall with 134 strokes.

This season at Arizona State, Johnston finished in a tie for fourth place at the Pac-12 Conference championship in late April and then tied for 40th at the NCAA Albuquerque Regional. As a team, Arizona State finished second at the Pac-12 championship and then tied for second at the regional.