By Breeanna Runyan
Ryggs Johnston, well known Libby golfer and high school senior, recently won his fourth consecutive Montana State Golf championship making Logger history, but his accomplishments didn’t come without time and dedication. Starting his golf career at age two, Johnston has put a lot of hours into training. During the summertime this consists of four to six hours per day, five days a week. Johnston puts in the hours of practice a couple times per week during the winter too.
One of the few stereotypes about golf that Johnston does not believe in is that, “golfers aren’t true athletes,” he told The Montanian in an interview last week.
One of the biggest challenges Johnston faced was being the youngest player at one point in time, which, he believes, has made him a better golfer. Also, he said, “I don’t have as much exposure or experience as others because of being in Montana.” Since Montana isn’t known for golf, Johnston and his family have had to travel all over the nation for him to participate in large tournaments and gain some exposure while doing so. “Without my parents, I wouldn’t be where I am today, they have supported me in everything I do,” Johnston said.
Some of the other tournaments he has won include: the Montana Men’s State Amateur Championship, the Lake City Open in Polson, and the FCG Las Vegas Championship. He also placed high in the IMG Junior World in California, and the Western Jr. Golf Championship.
When asked what his proudest moment has been so far, Johnston replied, “Making it to the US Amateur when I was fifteen by beating out men and college players.” Eventually Johnston aspires to play in the PGA Golf Tournament.
Not only is he a champion golfer, Johnston is very accomplished in basketball, playing varsity for all four years of his high school career. Johnston said that for him, “Basketball is a nice break and a change of pace.” He is not fazed by basketball being a high action sport with risks of getting injured. He believes that playing is better for his golf career than not playing would be.
Johnston is choosing to play golf in college instead of basketball though, because he feels he is better at golf. He said, “It fits my talents well, and I have a better opportunity for my future by playing golf.” Johnston has also been a varsity volleyball team manager during all four years of high school.
Along with being a great athlete, he has been able to manage his time well, and he has kept a 4.5 GPA throughout high school.
Some advice Johnston has for younger athletes who may struggle to balance their studies and high school sports is, “It takes hard work and dedication to achieve both, so you must be willing to make some sacrifices and put in the time needed. If you set your mind to it, you can push past your ‘limits’ and reach new levels.”
Johnston’s next step in life will be attending Arizona State University. He has already verbally committed to playing golf there while majoring in business.
Ryggs Johnston poses with his family while wearing a golf medal. Photo courtesy of Breeanna Runyan, The Montanian.