LIBBY – Golf is one of the most unpredictable sports. Unless Ryggs Johnston is teeing it up.
The Libby senior capped off a high school career of dominance, winning his fourth consecutive state golf championship on Saturday in Hamilton.
Johnston set the Class B scoring record as a sophomore (128 in two rounds). Then Libby moved up to Class A, and he set the scoring record at that level last fall (134).
He came up three strokes short of that mark in Hamilton on Saturday, and the perfectionist knew he left shots on the course. But Johnston still won by eight strokes and overcame the pressure of becoming Montana’s fifth four-time state golf champion.
“I didn’t feel like I played even close to up to my expectations,” said Johnston. “But winning a state championship is not easy. It felt pretty good. I was kind of relieved. It’s been on my mind a lot lately, just this whole season focusing on getting that fourth title. For it to finally be over with and completed, it felt pretty good.”
Montana golf fans have been expecting these kind of performances from Johnston since before he was a teenager. He admits he’s looking forward to moving onto college at Arizona State, where he’ll turn into an unknown underdog for a change.
“There’s definitely quite a bit of pressure every tournament I play, because pretty much everyone expects a low round every time,” said Johnston. “That’s hard to do. But I’m going to like that (going to college) I’m not supposed to necessarily do stuff, shoot low rounds. And then I can work my way kind of back up to the situation I’ve got here, hopefully.”
Johnston also won the first Montana State Am Tournament that he ever entered this summer. He said he’s looking forward to now taking some time away from golf and getting back on the basketball court with the Libby Loggers this winter.