LAUREL – Montana golf circles have known Teigan Avery for years, and now she tops the state.

The 19-year-old from Kalispell chased down an elusive title, winning the State Amateur Tournament in Laurel over the weekend.

“It feels good,” Avery said afterward. “This is one I’ve wanted for a while and always really tried to play well at, and I’m just glad that it finally happened for me.”

Avery trailed former champ Kyla Clancy by one stroke after an opening-round 76, but she took control of the tournament during the final two rounds. Avery shot a 73 on Friday to pull ahead by five shots, and finished with a comfortable 77 to win by the same five-stroke margin at 10-over par. Townsend’s Anna DeMars finished second at 15 over.

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Avery needs to find room in a crowded trophy case for the new hardware. She twice won State AA titles at Kalispell Glacier High School, while finishing as runner-up in her two other years. She also captured three age-group championships at Montana State Junior Championships.

She credits a golfing family for pushing her and grooming her for success.

“It’s just been a lot of hard work,” Avery said. “My dad always made sure that I was putting in the time at the course; my mom was always supportive and made sure it wasn’t too much for me; and I’ve always really had that desire to do really well.”

And she doesn’t want to quit. Avery transitioned to college golf with the Montana Grizzlies this past year, playing in nine tournaments. Her best finish was a tie for 30th at the Spring Break Invitational in Dallas, but with momentum from a great summer, Avery now wants even more titles.

“I like to win,” she said, “and have always practiced hard enough to do that.”

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