SHELBY — Montana Tech junior Sean Benson is the champion of the MSU-Northern Invitational golf tournament at the Maria’s Valley Golf and Country Club.
Benson beat Rocky Mountain College golfer Michael Tait in a one-hole playoff to secure his second college tournament title. He won the Montana Tech Invitational last September at the Butte Country Club.
The Billings native shot a final-round 73 on the par-72 course Monday. That came after he shot 70 and 68 on Sunday.
Tait fired a 66 Monday to force a tie for the top spot with a 5-under-par 211. Like he did in Butte last year, Benson claimed medalist honors in the playoff.
Tucker Keyees of Lewis-Clark State College placed a distant third at 281.
Rocky won the team title, firing a blistering 281 on the final round for an 879 total. LC State took second at 882, and Tech placed third at 893. The Orediggers shot a 292 on the final round.
Tech’s Ryan Keenan shot a 72 Monday for a 223 total and a tie for sixth place.
Butte High graduate Houston Green fired a final-round 73 for a 227 and 16th place. Tech’s Daniel Friez tied for 17th at 229, while Orediggers Sean Ramsbacher and Dave Starcevich tied for 23rd at 232.
Rocky also claimed the women’s title, following a 325 with a 304 and a 629.
LC State placed second at 664, followed by Carroll College at 686, Providence-Great Falls at 687 and Montana Tech at 699.
Gina Kowolchuk of Providence shot a 73 and held on for the individual title at 146. Rocky’s Eryn Ellis placed second at 147 after a final-round 70.
Tech’s Taryn Campbell shot an 83 Monday and placed seventh at 164. Butte High grad Hailey Ogolin was the only other Oredigger in the top 20. She improved seven shots for an 84 and a 175. That tied her for 18th place.