The Bulldog golf team capped off an excellent season with an individual champion and a second-place team finish in Laurel on Friday.
Whitefish’s Cameron Kahle came out on top in a three-hole playoff in the tournament after forcing the extra holes with a 12-foot birdie on No. 17 and an eagle on 18.
That tied him with Laurel’s Carson Hackmann.
Both Kahle and Hackmann opened sudden death play with pars on No. 10. Kahle had the chance to put Hackmann away for good with a 15-foot putt for birdie, but he couldn’t hit the shot.
However, after Hackmann knocked a drive into the creek, double-bogeying the par-15 No. 10, Kahle shot par for a state title.
Kahle said he gave his son some advice on his final tee shot before he won the title.
“I told him on the tee, ‘Just put a good swing on it and put it in the fairway and let’s see what happens.’ And he did,” Kahle said. “It was absolutely spectacular.”
“Of course, his mom and I were there watching the last several holes. There’s just a tremendous sense of pride and admiration for the hard work he’s put in,” Kahle added. “To see it pay off that way was really rewarding.”
Andrew Brozek and Johnny Nix also finished 13th and 17th respectively. Whitefish as a team took fourth overall behind Laurel, Butte Central and Hamilton.
On the girls side, Megan Archibald tied for 11th overall, while Ella Shaw took 17th, Kendall Reed 18th and Anyah Cripe 20th. As a team, the girls took second behind Laurel.
Kahle said he was very pleased with the way his girls played on a tough course.
“Going into a golf course that was playing very difficult, I was really impressed with the way they hung in there, knowing they would have some bad holes and some big scores but so would the rest of the teams. We just repeated, ‘Just hang in there and keep grinding it out. Focus on every shot because every shot matters.’ We ended up winning just by a couple strokes over Corvallis for second,” he said. “I take my hat off to them. They played very hard for two days and I couldn’t be more thrilled.”
This year’s team graduates some key golfers, like Brozek, Shaw and Archibald, but will return the rest of the roster along with some promising freshmen, Kahle said.
“The future for Bulldog golf looks very good,” he said.
Kahle also credited his coaching staff of Tait Rocksund, Jeff Doorn, Doug Reed and Sharon Kahle, along with the Gary Norby Foundation and Tim Olson at Whitefish Lake Golf Club for the success this year.
State A Golf Tournament
At Laurel Golf Club
1. Laurel 665; 2. Butte Central 669; 3. Hamilton 678; 4. Whitefish 694; 5. Frenchtown 741; 6. Sidney 760; 7. Park 764; 8. Columbia Falls 825.
T1 Cameron Kahle Whitefish 79-77-156 T1 Carson Hackmann Laurel 79-77-156
13 Andrew Brozek Whitefish 87-84-171
17 Johnny Nix Whitefish 86-89-175
T39 Bjorn Olson Whitefish 101-93-194
1. Laurel 742; 2. Whitefish 803; 3. Corvallis 805; 4. Sidney 809; 5. Custer 856; 6. Polson 864; 7. Frenchtown 916; 8. Fergus 923; 9. Ronan 926; 10. Park 1022.
T11 Megan Archibald Whitefish 100-99-199
17 Ella Shaw Whitefish 96-105-201
T18 Kendall Reed Whitefish 107-96-203
20 Anyah Cripe Whitefish 103-101-204
26 Anna Elm Whitefish 111-101-212