Brian Humphreys showed flashes of brilliance in his first high school district golf tournament on Oct. 8 and 9, but the Camas freshman became a spectator watching Union senior Ian Spicer conquer the Tri-Mountain golf course in Ridgefield.
Spicer nailed seven birdies and an eagle in the final round, and finished with a 5-under par score of 67 strokes. He almost double-eagled the 18th hole from around 250 yards away. The ball stopped rolling about 4 feet from the hole. Spicer tapped it in for an eagle and won the district championship. Humphreys finished in second place, five strokes ahead of his adversary.
“You can’t get mad at yourself when you play well and the other guy has the round of his life,” Humphreys said. “It was inspiring to watch. I want to be the district champion next year. That means I have to play whoever I’m up against, and match him shot-for-shot.”
Humphreys shot 1-under to lead Spicer and the rest of the field by one stroke after the first day of the tournament. He found himself behind quickly in the final round after Spicer started dropping birdies, left and right. Humphreys was in trouble after a double bogie on the 12th hole, but he bounced back with birdies on 13 and 14.
“I had a good approach shot on 13. I was about 195 yards away, used my 4-iron and dropped my ball about 20 feet from the hole,” Humphreys said. “I needed something to turn the momentum around. I also birdied the next hole.”
The freshman couldn’t catch the senior on this day, but Humphreys was proud to be playing in the lead group with Spicer and Battle Ground’s Chad Hill.
“All three of us had a good time playing together. It was fun to be in that group as a freshman,” Humphreys said. “I’m glad I gave myself an opportunity to win districts. I didn’t do it today, but I still have three more years.”
Humphreys advances to the state tournament, scheduled for May 21 and 22 at Camas Meadows. Teammate Braeden Campbell hopes to join him after finishing fifth at districts.
“I hope fifth is good enough to get to state for the third year in a row,” Campbell said. “I had to go through bi-districts last year, and that’s something I don’t want to have to do again.
Campbell bounced back after hitting the ball in a couple sand traps on 15.
“I was two shots behind Eddie [Abellar of Union] in my group, but I beat him on the last three holes to squeeze in,” Campbell said. “I stayed with it on those last few holes, hit some good shots and now I’m hopefully going to state. That’s what I’ll remember.”
Brett Ball beat Tyler Copp of Union in a 2-hole playoff for 12th place at districts. He advances to the bi-district tournament in May for an opportunity to play at state.
“I’m good friends with Tyler. It was just like we were out playing together,” Ball said. “I felt pretty good walking off that second green, knowing I had just beaten my friend.”