Submitted by Cindy Ostrem-Johnston
Ryggs Johnston of Libby won the 15 to 18 year old division of the IMG World Jr. Open Qualifier at Primm Valley Golf Course in Nevada held on April 14 and 15. He was tied for seventh after a first round -1 (71). The two leaders were at -5. On the second round, he fired a -9 (63) which included eight birdies and an incredible 40 foot downhill eagle putt from the fringe on the final hole to win by one stroke. There were 49 boys in the field from all over the country.
This was Ryggs’ first tournament since winning his third State High School Championship on September 30, 2017. Libby’s course just opened this Friday, so with the exception of one cold day of play in Missoula over Easter, he has been swinging the clubs indoors on his Opti-Shot. He did get out a couple of times to hit a bucket of over 200 golf balls off his hitting mat only to have to shag them up and wash the mud off them in his bathtub at home.
Ryggs will move on to compete in the IMG Jr. World Championships at Torrey Pines in San Diego, Calif. from July 10 though 13. Approximately 1,200 junior golfers representing 56 countries and 42 states will be participating. Ryggs has qualified for this tournament eight out of nine years since his first appearance as a ten year old.