GREENSBURG, Pa. - Saint Michael's College men's golf junior Matt Johnson (Sudbury, Mass./Lincoln-Sudbury Regional) finished play at the three-day NCAA Atlantic/East Regional Championship on Saturday by tying for 50th among 107 competitors at the Totteridge Golf Course. Johnson was the first member of his program to ever qualify for NCAAs, and made his second big move up the standings in as many rounds.
- Junior Matt Johnson (Sudbury, Mass./Lincoln-Sudbury Regional) tied for 50th among 107 competitors, shooting a 5-over 77 on his final day after carding a 79 during each of the first two rounds. He finished 19 over par with 235 shots during his first collegiate three-round tournament.
- Johnson teed off from the course's 10th hole at 8:50 a.m. as part of a threesome that included golfers hailing from host California University of Pennsylvania and West Chester (Pa.) University.
- Johnson improved his standing for the second straight round, having entered the day tied for 57th after tying for 63rd on day one. His movement between rounds two and three tied for 25th in the field.
- Johnson carded a 4-over 40 on his front nine holes before finishing on holes No. 1 through 9 to end his day, shooting a 1-over 37, including a birdie - his fourth of the tournament - on the par-four first hole. Johnson shot an even-par 24 over his final six holes.
- Johnson was only six strokes outside the top 30.
- He was one of 40 golfers to break 70 in all three rounds.
- This was Johnson's 36th career round in the 70s, and 11th straight.
- Among 53 East region golfers, Johnson tied for 29th.
- Johnson placed fourth among the eight individual qualifiers, leading all East solo qualifiers.
- Out of the 24 competitors from the Northeast-10 Conference, whether having qualified as part of a team or individually, Johnson tied for the 15th-best score.
- Johnson finished the season with a 75.00-stroke average, besting his prior career low of 77.29 from last year, which was the best by a Purple Knight in at least 12 seasons.
- Including all four regional sites, 80 teams and 32 unattached individuals contended for spots in the NCAA Championship on May 20-24 in Daniels, W.Va. Fellow NE10 schools Southern New Hampshire University (899) and Bentley University (901) topped the field, while Wilmington (Del.) University (903) joined the two in advancing to the national finals. Junior Owen Elliott (214) of Shepherd (W.Va.) University and sophomore Michael Marsico (220) from Gannon (Pa.) University qualified individually for the finals field.
- Johnson was the first member of his program to ever qualify for NCAA Championship play.
- Johnson qualified for the regional as one of the top four players from the East not among the 10 teams that also qualified. Combined with the Atlantic region, 20 squads and eight individuals were at the meet.
IN HIS OWN WORDS
- "It was a great experience. There were plenty of people who didn't know where Saint Michael's was or how far away we were, but it was great to get the school name out there in the golf world."
- "Obviously you always wish you could play better, but honestly I'm just happy I could make it to this point. Our goal was to make it here as a team, but to make it here individually is still an accomplishment. I think it looks good for our team next year."
- "It was encouraging to see where I finished, and I definitely played better today than the first two days. It shows if I play my game I can compete at this level, and I think the whole team is moving in that direction. I talked to some of [my teammates] after the rounds, and even though I wasn't happy with how I played at some points, they were nothing but encouraging."
- "The only thing you can hope for in golf is to continuously improve, and if by no other means than the numbers, the team and I have improved every year I've been here. I'd consider this year a success."