Testing himself against college level golfers, Brian Humphreys finished in second place at the Oregon Amateur Championship June 20 to 25, at Glaze Meadow in Black Butte Ranch.
The 18-year-old from Washougal won five match play contests in three days. He then found himself in a competitive championship match against Conner Barr, of Beaverton. Barr recently graduated from Northern Colorado University, while Humphreys had just graduated from Camas High School.
“The whole experience is fun. It’s pretty much a privilege just to be in that situation,” Humphreys said. “When you’re playing your ninth or tenth consecutive round on an awesome golf course, it’s pretty hard not to have fun.”
The 36-hole championship match started off good for Humphreys when he won the first two. Barr bounced back on the next two holes, and the score was still tied as they went to the back nine. Barr then won the next eight holes to establish a huge advantage at the halfway point.
“He had pulled even by the ninth hole and then won 10 through 17, which was incredibly devastating,” Humphreys said. “I think he made like five birdies in a row during that stretch.”
Back out on the course for another 18 holes after the break, a determined Humphreys started off with a birdie and an eagle. He cut the deficit down to five holes on the front nine. A long birdie putt on the 32nd hole got Humphreys to within three of Barr. Both players tied the 33rd, moving Barr to dormie. Humphreys won the 34th hole to stay alive, but Barr secured the championship by a 2-and-1 advantage after hole 35.
“Even though I lost that match, it was a good experience for me,” Humphreys said. “I’m really proud of the way I fought back on that final 18. I haven’t had a super finish like that in a while.”
After not fairing well in the first two days of stroke play, Humphreys entered the 64-man match play bracket as the No. 34 seed. He defeated Alex Kang, of Tigard, 3-and-1 in the first round. Humphreys then upset No. 2 seed Kevin Murphy, of Rogue River, 5-and-3 in the round of 32.
“He’s going to be a senior at Oregon State and I’m going to be a freshman at Boise State,” Humphreys said. “We’re on the same level now, playing college golf. That match was the realization of that.”
Humphreys continued to roll. He beat Jake Quast, of Medford, 2-and-1 in the round of 16. The next day, Humphreys knocked off Beaverton’s Max Murai 6-and-4 in the morning quarterfinal. He needed only 13 holes to finish off Reedsport’s Montana Frame 6-and-5 in the afternoon semifinal.
“In the majority of the matches, I got ahead early and just didn’t let them gain any ground,” Humphreys said.
Humphreys played more golf in the Oregon Amateur Championship than he had in any tournament before. His six matches and two rounds of stroke play added up to 147 holes in five days.
“I’ve played 36 holes in a day before, but I’ve never done it three days in a row,” Humphreys said. “This is what I’ve been practicing for every day. It’s really rewarding to see all of my hard work pay off.”