Johnson Wins Individual Title, and NDSU Wins the Team at Torrey Pines

March 27, 2024 | 4 min.
By Michael R Fermoyle

SAN DIEGO — Bad start. Fast finish. That describes the way Jack Johnson’s tournament went this week at the San Diego Invitational. If you wanted to nitpick, you could point out that the North Dakota State senior from Chaska did bogey the 18th hole of the final round on Tuesday, but that was after he made six birdies, and the resulting 5-under-par 67 at Torrey Pines North sealed a three-stroke victory for him. 

His did not get his opening round on Sunday off to an auspicious start. He bogeyed the 421-yard, par-4 first hole and the 241-yard, par-3 third. Another bogey at the 214-yard, par-3 eighth didn’t help, but then Johnson turned things around. 

He birdied the first two of his 13 birdies during the tournament at the ninth and 10th holes and salvaged a 73 from the day. During Monday’s second round, his eagle at the 520-yard, par-5 17th helped to cap off a 68. He made his last birdie at the 17th on Monday, which meant he played the hole in 4 under for the three days. 

Johnson ended up with a 54-hole aggregate of 208 (8 under) while claiming his first college victory. 

While he was at it, he led the Bison to their second team triumph in a row. They led the 17-team field going into the final round and closed the deal with a 280 total on Monday. Their overall tab of 857 bettered second-place Idaho by nine strokes. Oklahoma Christian was another two behind at 868 in third place. UC Santa Barbara finished fourth at 872. 

Three of Johnson’s NDSU teammates placed in the top 10. Ian Simonich, a junior from Moorhead, claimed solo sixth with a final-round 70 and a 215 total. 

Two former Maple Grove teammates who are now Bison teammates were right behind him, in a seven-way tie for seventh. Nate Adams, a senior, got there with a 70. Junior Josh Galvin shot 68 and moved up 26 places to join the sevensome at 217, although that 68 didn’t count toward the NDSU team total, because he was playing as an individual only. 

In February, the Bison smoked a 16-team field in the Loyola Intercollegiate at Palm Valley Golf Club in Goodyear, Ariz., where they went 40 under par and won by 15 shots. Jake Skarperud, a sophomore from Fargo (Shanley), gave NDSU a sweep in that one, too. He won the individual title with a 65-71-66–202 (14 under).

San Diego Invitational

At Torrey Pines North

Par 72, 7,258 yards

San Diego, Calif.

Final results

1. North Dakota State        293-284-280—857 (-7)

2. Idaho                               298-284-284—866

3. Oklahoma Christian         293-291-284—868

4. UC Santa Barbara            299-290-283—872

5. Yale                                   293-290-292—875

6. UC San Diego                  304-296-277—877

7. Lehigh                              305-296-280—881

8. Denver                              311-290-282—883

T9. Seattle University            304-298-282–-884

T9. Utah State                       307-284-293—884

11. Fordham                          304-293-294—891

12. Bucknell                           305-296-292—893

T13. Southern Utah               312-293-289—894

T13. UC Irvine                        305-291-298—894

15. UC Riverside                    315-296-293—904

16. Prairie View A&V               317-30-298—915

17. Air Force                           309-309-301—919

Individual results

1. Jack Johnson, NDSU                  73-68-67—208 (-8)

2. Johannes Hounsgaard, Idaho       72-69-70—211

3. Blake McGovern, UC S. Barbara   72-72-68-212

T4. Exequiel Rodriguez, Okla. Christian  74-71-69—214

T4. Leandro Mihaich, Okla. Christian       72-72-70—214

6. Ian Simonich, NDSU                             70-75-70—215

T7. Josh Galvin, NDSU                             71-78-67—217 (Ind. only)

T7. Nate Adams, NDSU                            74-73-70—217 

T24. Brady Arnett, Denver                        79-72-69—220

T24. Jake Skaperud, NDSU                      76-71-73—220

T46. Gavin Cronkhite, NDSU                     77-72-74—223

T88. Aaron Kuznik, Air Force                     78-80-78—236

Michael R Fermoyle

Mike Fermoyle’s amateur golf career features state titles in five different decades, beginning with the State Public Links (1969), three State Amateurs (1970, 1973 and 1980), and four State Four-Ball championships (1972, 1985, 1993 and 2001). Fermoyle was medalist at the Pine to Palm in 1971, won the Resorters in 1972, made the cut at the State Amateur 18 consecutive years (1969 to 1986), the last being 2000, and amassed 13 top-ten finishes. Fermoyle also made it to the semi-final matches at the MGA’s annual match play championship, the Players’, in 1982 and 1987.

Fermoyle enjoyed a career as a sportswriter at the St. Paul Pioneer Press Dispatch before retiring in 2006. Two years later he began a second career covering the golf beat exclusively for the MGA and its website,, where he ranks individual prep golfers and teams, provides coverage on local amateur and professional tournaments and keeps tabs on how Minnesotans are faring on the various professional tours.

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