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Johnston Enters Fighting Illini Invite Record Book, Sun Devils Leap Into Second

Sep 17, 2022

Olympia Fields, Ill. – Ryggs Johnston fired the second-best round in the 16-year history of the Fighting Illini Invitational at 6-under 64 and moved into second place individually as Arizona State continued its rise, ending the second round in second overall.
"We had a great team round today and were the only team under par," Johnston said. "All five of us need to go out and play solid tomorrow... for myself, I need to go out and play solid tomorrow. It's a tough course and you never know what can happen."
Beginning the day in 13th, Johnston fired an eagle on the opening par-5, 626-yard hole. He was quickly joined by Luke Potter who also eagled, earning positive Sun Devil momentum early. 

After starting the day in fifth as a team, Michael Mjaaseth carded birdies on the first and sixth holes as ASU moved into fourth through nine holes. Then, four Sun Devils fired five brides on holes 10-12, including two by Potter as Johnston moved to 3-under for the round.

At the end of the day, Johnston caught fire, carding four birdies in his last six holes to finish 6-under 64. Only two men, both current professionals, have shot better in the tournament's 16-year history. Rickie Fowler (Oklahoma State, 2007) and Thomas Detry (Illinois, 2015) carded 7-under 63's respectively.
"Today was a good day," Assistant Coach Thomas Sutton said. "The guys learned from some of the mistakes yesterday and also made a couple more putts.  Ryggs played great and we had big rounds by our freshman. It's a tough course and they were so solid. This round gets us in contention entering tomorrow and that was our main goal.
Johnston's effort was a part of ASU's 273 (64-68-70-71), just three strokes off Stanford's tournament record-low 270 from yesterday. The total was the best of any squad in the 15-team field by eight strokes on the day.
"Ryggs could not have driven the ball any better today," Head Coach Matt Thurmond said. "His long-iron game was on point from the first hole when he hit a 2-iron to three feet and made eagle.  His ball-striking is always good but today it was elite. He made the key putts to keep the momentum alive all day. That's an exceptional round and puts us into contention."
ASU will tee off in the final round of the Fighting Illini Invite tomorrow beginning at 9 o'clock, grouped with tournament leader Stanford and the third placed hosts, Illinois.
1) Adrien Dumont de Chassart, Illinois, 65-67=132/-8
2) Ryggs Johnston, 70-64=134/-6
T13) Preston Summerhays, 69-72=141/+1
T15) Michael Mjaaseth, 74+68=142/+2
T15) Luke Potter 72-70=142/+2
T58) Josele Ballester 75-71=146/+6