Six birdies and an eagle propelled Brian Humphreys to the Central Oregon Junior golf tournament championship, which took place July 23 and 24 at the Juniper Golf Course in Redmond, Ore.
The 14-year-old from Washougal fired a 6-under par 72 in the final round to reach the top of the leaderboard in the boys division. His rounds of 78 and 66 gave him a two-day total of 114 strokes.
“My thoughts after the [final] round were very confusing,” Humphreys said. “First of all, I was very pleased that I had finally had a breakthrough round because my play in national and regional tournaments prior to Central Oregon had not met my expectations. But I was also trying not to be too satisfied with my play because I knew that if one of the leaders had a good day, I could be in a playoff or even lose the tournament.”
Confidence in his short game helped Humphreys nail those six birdies. He also got the opportunity to play alongside his good friend Eddie Abellar in the finals.
“I was confident that I could play the course well because I had done so in the same tournament two years earlier,” Humphreys said. “Plus the fact that my chipping and putting were superb allowed me to pick apart the course’s weaknesses instead of playing defensively on the more difficult stretches.”
The eagle came on the 10th hole. Humphreys started off with a powerful drive down the left side of the fairway, which left him about 207 yards away from the pin tucked behind a sand trap. He got great contact with his 4-iron, and the wind carried his ball all the way to the fringe on the left of the green. Humphreys then went with his lob wedge, and shut the face just slightly so the ball would roll.
“I put the perfect amount of spin [on the ball], and it broke right in,” he said. “This shot was a real bonus for me because I had been hoping for a birdie. It was also a real momentum booster because I knew that although I had played well on the front nine, I would have to keep it up on the back nine to get into contention.”
Humphreys took care of business on those last eight holes. While the other golfers finished up, he took some practice putts just in case. No playoff would be necessary.
“I was really excited to win the tournament because it secured my spot in the [Oregon Golf Assocation] Tournament of Champions,” Humphreys said. “It also gives me a great chance of playing in the Hogan Cup, which is a national tournament where I would be representing Oregon on a four-man team against teams from eight other western states.”
The Hogan Cup takes place Aug. 10 and 11, at the Riverside Golf and Country Club in Portland, Ore. The OGA Tournament of Champions is scheduled for Sept. 8, at Langdon Farms Golf Club in Aurora, Ore.