Libby’s Ryggs Johnston Misses Cut at U.S. Amateur

High school senior fired even-par 71 at Pebble Beach in first round before scuffling on day two

By Andy Viano
Ryggs Johnston hones his stroke on the practice putting green at Cabinet View Golf Club on July 26, 2018. Justin Franz | Flathead Beacon

In a field littered with many of the best amateur golfers in the world, including former professionals and top-level collegians, Libby High School senior Ryggs Johnston finished four strokes back of the cut line at the 118th U.S. Amateur Championship in Pebble Beach, California on Aug. 14.

Johnston, 18, is a three-time Montana High School Association champion and was in the U.S. Amateur field for the second time after first qualifying in 2015. He opened the tournament with a workmanlike 71 (E) on Aug. 13 at the iconic Pebble Beach Golf Links before carding an 80 (+8) at Spyglass Hill Golf Course one day later.

The top 64 golfers after the first two rounds of stroke play advanced to the match play portion of the tournament, and the cut line to reach the top 64 finished at four-over-par. After his even-par round on day one, Johnston found himself in the top 30 of the 312-golfer field. That opening round included birdies on the third and 14th holes and just two bogies. He started the day two with bogies on two of his first three holes — beginning his round on the 10th tee — and was undone by a five-hole stretch on the front nine during which he was five over par.

When he returns home to Libby, Johnston will begin his final season of high school golf as the overwhelming favorite to win another Class A title at the state tournament, Sept. 28-29 at Hamilton Country Club. Johnston will attend Arizona State University on a golf scholarship next fall.

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