Sophomore Dani O’Keefe and senior Sarah McComish did not know they were related until meeting up at Chico State.
O’Keefe spent her first year at San Jose State. It wasn’t until she was recruited by Chico State that she found out she had a second cousin in the program.
O’Keefe’s dad informed her, she said.
Their fathers, who are first cousins, grew up golfing together at Rancho Maria Golf Club in Orcutt, she said. McComish’s dad was a senior when O’Keefe’s was a first-year.
“We come from a family of golfers,” McComish said. “It’s just in my blood.”
Golfing has been passed down to O’Keefe and McComish.
“It’s cool to think that her dad was a mentor to mine, in the same way that she is to me,” O’Keefe said. “It’s nice to have my cousin as a leader.”
It wasn’t until their first year of high school that O’Keefe and McComish really got into golf. They both agreed that most of their drive and coaching came from more experienced relatives. This determination landed them on the Chico State golf team.
The program at Chico State was welcoming, which made the transition from San Jose to Chico smooth, O’ Keefe said.
McComish came to Chico from Sprague High School in Oregon.
She knew it was the right place for her, she said.
“I really liked the weather here,” McComish said. “It was the perfect combination of sun and rain.”
A moment earlier this year in Arizona really stuck out to McComish, she said. The team was down 19 strokes and rallied back to win by 1.
“That was a remarkable win,” she said.
O’Keefe enjoys her time when the team travels to Hawaii, she said.
“It’s such a nice place to play at and so many fun things to do,” she said.
O’Keefe and McComish have now known each other for three years and are very close, O’Keefe said. Golf has brought the family closer for the second time.
“She has really shown me a lot,” she said. “I want to step up and be that leader when she graduates.”
Ryan Grady can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or @RyanGrady23 on Twitter.