Libby sophomore Ryggs Johnston will aim to defend his Class B state golf championship next week in Shelby. (MTN Sports photo)

BOZEMAN – Ryggs Johnston is ready to defend his title.

Libby’s No. 1 golfer, Johnston won the Class B No. 3 Divisional on Monday, shooting a blistering 65 at Cottonwood Hills Golf Course. Johnston won the invite by eight strokes over Missoula Loyola’s Bucky Crippen.

The Libby standout shot an incredible 63 in the second round of last spring’s Class B state meet, pulling away from the field at Pryor Creek Golf Club in Huntley. The sophomore is the overwhelming favorite to win the title again next Tuesday in Shelby.

The Townsend boys won the team title behind a fifth-place finish from Scott DeMars, who shot 77.

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In the girls race, Loyola’s Kylie Esh was equally as impressive as Johnston, winning by 14 strokes. Esh shot a 69 to help guide Loyola to the team title as well. She, like Johnston, has not lost a tournament all season and will golf for the University of Montana in two years.

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The Class B state golf invitational will be held at Marias Valley Golf Course next Monday for the opening round. The tournament concludes on Tuesday afternoon.

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