Lightning flashes delayed the inevitable for Brian Humphreys.
The reigning 4A state title holder was about to become a district champion for the first time in his young high school career at Camas Oct. 8, on the Tri-Mountain golf course in Ridgefield.
The wind and the rain hadn’t shaken his confidence. He stepped over the standing water on the greens without worry until those crackling sounds off in the distance sent the marshal out in a hurry. Humphreys’ ball marker rested comfortably on the 18th green, but he was forced to leave it there and walk away for who knew how long.
“It was more annoying than anything,” said the sophomore.
After about a 45-minute delay, the thunder clouds disappeared and the sun came out. Humphreys only needed his putter to finish the deal. He shot 2-under par 72, after going 1-under the day before, to win the district tournament by three strokes.
“It was important for me to win districts this year,” Humphreys said. “That was one of the only things I didn’t do last year.”
Humphreys trailed Eddie Abellar, of Union High School, by two strokes after the first round. Humphreys nailed a birdie on the first hole, took the lead on the second, but gave it right back to Abellar after a bogey on three. Humphreys kept pecking away with three more birdies on the next five holes. He led by two strokes at the turn and never looked back.
“The birdie on the first hole was a confidence boost,” Humphreys said. “I thought I was going to win this tournament last year, but then Ian [Spicer] had that great round and beat me. It feels good to be able to play well down the stretch this time and win.”
Abellar and Union teammate Ben Gruher tied for second place at districts with two-day totals of 144 strokes. Braeden Campbell finished in fourth place for Camas with a 147. He is thrilled to be going back to the state tournament as a senior.
“That experience at state of playing well in the rain helped me out a lot today,” Campbell said. “This was my best score at districts. I feel I went out in a good way.”
Camas golfers Brett Ball and Kyle Hoover qualified for the bi-district tournament in the spring. Ball tied for sixth place with a 159 and Hoover tied for eighth place with a 162.
Humphreys and Campbell hope Ball and Hoover will earn the opportunity to join them at the state tournament. In the meantime, these four Papermakers will continue to push each other on the golf course.
“We’re always trying to beat each other in practice,” Campbell said. “We’re not afraid to play somebody good because you play with somebody good every day.”