SIDNEY – As 2017 comes to a close, we reflect on some of the most incredible, unique and inspiring stories of the past year. Last May, Libby’s Ryggs Johnston and Missoula Loyola’s Kylie Esh both walked away from the final hole Class B state champions.
For Johnston, it was his second straight title. He also broke his scoring record, finishing the 36-hole tournament in 128 strokes. He shot 131 the previous season, the previous course record.
Loyola’s Kylie Esh also had an incredible showing last May, shooting a two-day total of 146. Esh, now a senior at Missoula Loyola, committed to the Montana Grizzly golf program in her junior year.
And then, over the summer, Libby grew from Class B to Class A. This gave Johnston a shot at breaking yet another record. The Libby Logger decimated a decade-old record on the Links at the Sidney Country Club in late September. That previous record, held by Sam Krause of Whitefish, was 137. Johnston broke it by three strokes at 134.
After their May wins, both champions remained humble.
“I was trying to get it to 20-under par, but I struggled just a little bit today. I was kind of hitting the ball all over the place but I got a 67 out of it, so that’s all right,” said Johnston in May.
“I was just kind of trying to think about just one hole at a time and not trying to get ahead of myself,” said Esh after her win in May. “And our team meant a lot to me, as well, and so I was mostly worried about our teammates.”