Tomas Ribeiro finds himself ranked among the best in the world even before he steps foot on the Iowa Central campus.
Ribeiro, a native of Porto Seguro, Brazil, signed with the Tritons earlier this year to continue his academic and golf career. In March, he found his name on the World Amateur Golf Rankings page.
"It's a really good feeling to be on the WAGR," he said. "It's a ranking that the best players in the world are on, so it was a really big thing for me to achieve this year."
Over the past two years of action, Ribeiro has a victory in two events played that count towards the point standings, placing first at the Tour Nacional Juvenil in Sao Paulo in the first event of 2020. He was also 12th at the Tour Nacional Juvenil in Rio Grande do Sul.
"I started playing golf at the age of three in Portugal," he said. "We had a house in front of the course, so every day, I saw players. That really led me to want to have a career in golf."
Among his other career achievements to date include a runner-up showing at the Brazilian Junior. He has been invited to play in two IMG World Championships and the South American Junior, which Ribeiro calls "the best tournament on the continent."
How is it that Iowa Central head coach Kris Graewin was able to secure the services of such an up-and-coming star on the links?
"He is an amazing person," Ribeiro said. "The environment of the place, all the people around it, it was just a phenomenal place to be at. I am sure that with him, this team can achieve awesome things."
Ribeiro has his mind focused on competing first for the Tritons before taking on the best of the best in the golfing world.
"My ultimate goal in golf is to get to the PGA Tour," he said. "I know that's gonna be a really difficult thing, but I'm sure that at Iowa Central, I'll be able to grow my game a lot and make this dream possible."