Clemson’s Turk Pettit captured the 2021 NCAA Division Men’s Golf individual national championship after shooting even-par 70 in the final round to edge out Oklahoma State’s Bo Jin by a single stroke. Beginning the final round on No. 10, Pettit made birdies on 12 and 17, moved to -9 and took the lead from Jin by the time he made the turn at 2-under par for the day.
Despite giving back two strokes at the first and third holes, Pettit’s final round 70 — 7-under par for the tournament — proved to be enough, as Jin and ASU’s Ryggs Johnston fell in line behind him at -6 and -5. After four rounds of stroke play (68-67-68-70) at the Grayhawk Golf Club, Pettit became just the second men’s golfer in Clemson history to win a national title since Charles Warren last did it in 1997.
“I never knew I had the lead or was tied for the lead until I finished,” Pettit said. “I am the type of player who doesn’t want to know. Coach (Larry) Penley was with me the last nine holes and he never told me. When you look at scoreboards you start thinking about winning and it takes your mind off your game. That’s the way I look at it.”
Hot all week, Jin uncharacteristically made bogey on his first hole followed by a string of pars. He added two more bogeys at 7 and 10 to sit at 3-over par for the day, two strokes off the lead. Jin appeared to stop the bleeding with a birdie at 11 before, again, reeling off a series of pars. After his drive found the desert on the final hole, Jin nearly pulled off a spectacular approach, but it trickled off the front of the green hanging up in the rough just inches of the water. Jin’s par putt to force a playoff with Pettit slid by the hole.
ASU’s Ryggs Johnston was in the hunt as well. Paired with Jin, he made pars through the first five holes until a double bogey on No. 6. Johnston bounced back with birdies at 9, 11, 12 and 15 to move to 2-under for the day, -6 for the tournament. He needed a birdie on the final hole to grab a share of the lead, instead, drew a bogey. Johnston finished in solo-third place, two strokes off the pace.