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Colin and Keni Wade earn state golf titles for Bigfork

by JEREMY WEBER
For the Eagle | May 24, 2023 9:55 AM

Possible, but not likely.

That’s how Bigfork’s brother and sister duo of Colin and Keni Wade described their chances of both bringing home a State B golf title from the Marias Valley Golf and Country Club in Shelby last week.

Despite the odds against them, the pair became (as far as anyone can tell) the first siblings to pull off Montana boys and girls state golf titles in the same season.

“We thought we might have a shot at doing this, but golf is such a tough sport where so many things can go wrong,” Colin said. “There are a lot of things that are pretty much out of your control, but we were both able to pull it off, and that is really cool.”

Both golfers had a strong opening day at the Championship despite wind and a lightning delay Tuesday, with Colin picking up birdies on holes six, eight and 17 to finish with a 75 and two-stroke lead after day one.

Keni birdied five, and 15 to finish at 80, three strokes ahead of Jefferson’s Celi Chapman.

“I thought the scores were going to be a little lower overall, but the course must have been playing a little harder than I thought,” Colin said. “I felt pretty good about how I was playing and felt confident in my swing going into the second day.”

Colin stayed steady the second day, but Keni got off to a rough start.

With bogeys on seven of the first nine holes Wednesday, Keni fell into second place but was determined to finish strong.

“I felt pretty confident after that first day, having the lead, but I knew it was far from over,” she said. “I struggled quite a bit in the front nine on the second day, but then I told myself to put that behind me and just start over on the second nine. That worked and I was able to play well after that.”

With a birdie on 12, Keni shot just two over par on the back nine to retake the lead for good and finish three strokes ahead of Chapman, but it wasn’t until she walked off the course that she learned that her brother had joined her atop the leaderboards.

With a birdie on 12, Keni shot just two over par on the back nine to retake the lead for good and finish three strokes ahead of Chapman, but it wasn’t until she walked off the course that she learned that her brother had joined her atop the leaderboards.

“Winning was a great feeling, but coming off the course and finding out that Colin had won as well was really cool,” she said.

The win was particularly satisfying for Colin, who had missed all previous sports his senior year after undergoing knee surgery.

After finishing second last season, he was elated to walk away as a winner in his final high school sport.

“It was good to be able to get out and play a sport again. I’ve been dying to get out and compete again. Coming out of the season with a win was a great feeling after all that has happened. It just felt good to be out there, but to finish that way, I couldn’t have scripted it any better.