It was a flashback to last year. Whitefish senior Cameron Kahle finished two rounds of the Class A state golf tournament at the Butte Country Club to find himself deadlocked in first place and forced into a playoff.
This year, the challenge came from his own Bulldogs squad, as teammate Billy Smith held on to his top spot from the first round to challenge Kahle for the title.
It only took a single hole for Kahle to emerge from the pressure as back-to-back state champion on Oct. 4. He parred hole No. 16 while Smith bogeyed and the duo took the top two places on the podium, two strokes ahead of Laurel’s Carson Hackmann.
The 1-2 finish carried the Whitefish boys to a team title as the Bulldogs topped Billings Central by 34 strokes, with defending team champion Laurel settling for third place.
Glacier’s Will Salonen shot 76 on both days of the Class AA state golf tournament in Missoula last week to finish with all-state honors in sixth place, 12 strokes back from winner Kade McDonough, a freshman from Missoula Sentinel.
Salonen led all-state teammates Tyler Avery (eighth) and Keaton Cassidy (11th) to a third place finish for the Wolfpack.
Flathead’s Ezra Epperly also took all-state honors for the first time tying for ninth.
In the girls’ tournament, Flathead’s Marcella Mercer was unable to bounce back from a defeat at the divisional tournament, but finished with her fourth all-state honor with a tie for third place. Teammate Jillian Wynne picked up all-state honors for the second season by tying for 12th place.
The Flathead Bravettes finished seventh in the team scores, one place ahead of the Glacier Wolfpack.
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