WHITEFISH — In the sixth grade Libby native Ryggs Johnston was asked by his teacher to write his dream down on a piece of paper and on that piece of paper he wrote that he wanted to play college golf at Arizona State.
“It was basically a letter to yourself that our sixth grade teacher said she would give to us after graduation," Johnston said. "She gave it to me after graduation and I was like wow I actually made that happen.”
Fast forward to today with Johnston leading the ASU golf team to a second-place finish in the Pac-12 men's golf tournament as a sophomore and is currently one of the best collegiate golfers in the world. Individually, Johnston finished in fourth place to lead the Sun Devils.
“I knew if I just played solid I would have a chance to win and I gave myself an opportunity," Johnston said. "Didn’t play great the last day, didn’t make any puts but it was good to be in contention.”
ASU head men's golf coach Matt Thurmond says Johnston isn’t just a leader on the golf course, but thanks to Libby High School, he is also setting the standard in the classroom.
“I mean he’s one of the best golfers in the country right now and I think his kind of focus on the academic side has also spilled over to the rest of the guys on the team," Thurmond said. "They're all great students but Ryggs has set a new standard.”
From a town with a population under 3,000 to a major metropolitan city of 4 million, there was a lot of things to adjust to including ordering at Chipotle. And his new teammates? Well, they noticed.
“I was like 10 seconds maybe, they were already on me about getting my order in so it wasn’t too bad but it was pretty funny,” Johnston explained.