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ASU comes from behind to win last Pac-12 Men's Golf Championship

Graduate student Ryggs Johnston finished second at the final Pac-12 tournament en route to ASU's 13th conference title


ASU graduate student golfer Ryggs Johnston scouts the course at Olympia Fields Country Club in Olympia Fields, Ill. on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023. 

 The ASU men's golf team dominated the final Pac-12 Men's Golf Championship to win the conference title by 16 strokes.

Sunday's result marked the Sun Devils' first Pac-12 team title since 2008. The conference championship also brings ASU to win 13 Pac-10/12 championships.

"This is an exciting accomplishment for our program," head coach Matt Thurmond said. "The players put in so much hard work and it is special to see it pay off with a championship. We are proud to be able to represent Arizona State University and follow in the great tradition of Sun Devil men's golf."

ASU played host for the last Pac-12 championship in Carefree the weekend of April 27. Thurmond said hosting the championship raised expectations for his players.

"All the college players are under massive pressure," Thurmond said in a speech following the victory. "These guys were carrying a lot of weight and I'm just so proud of how they handled it. We got way behind early, and they just kept fighting and fighting."

Thurmond continued to say how proud he was of the team.

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Graduate student Ryggs Johnston pulled out a historic performance to finish second. Johnston's outing is the second time he's finished runner-up in his career following the Thunderbird Collegiate earlier this season.

Johnston built a 3-stroke lead for second place and was just one stroke away from tying for first.

Freshman Wenyi Ding also had a successful outing by shooting 4-over-par to tie for sixth place. Ding started the tournament in first place but slowed down in the later rounds to land in a two-way tie for sixth.

ASU started the weekend tied for fourth before moving to third place in the second round. The team then climbed to first place and stayed there until the last hole. ASU shot 13 better in the final round than runner-up California to cruise to victory.

As the Pac-12's end nears, the Sun Devils must build on this momentum going into NCAA regionals. ASU is now looking to take home the national title in May after winning its last two tournaments thanks to outstanding performances by veterans.

The Sun Devils' resilience this weekend gives hope that they will succeed in their quest for a third NCAA championship.

Edited by Jack Barron, Sophia Braccio and Alysa Horton.

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