CAMAS — A healthy dose of focus, a touch of home cooking, and a whole lot of rain made the perfect combination for Brian Humphreys.
Through a cold and steady rain, the Camas freshman posted a two-shot victory over Li Wang from Eastlake of Sammamish to capture the Class 4A boys golf state championship Wednesday at Camas Meadows Golf Course. Humphreys’ two-round total was an even-par 144.
“It was awesome to win it in Camas representing Camas,” Humphreys said. “And it was great having all the support from my teammates, friends and family out on the course.”
One of five golfers to post an opening-round 70 on Tuesday, Humphreys took early command with a 1-under-par 35 on the front nine Wednesday, giving him a five-shot edge at the turn.
The lead was even bigger considering that Wednesday’s cold rain caused many scores to balloon.
“I don’t really mind the rain as long as I’m warm,” Humphreys said. “If I get cold, then my hands get numb and I have a hard time releasing the club. But it really didn’t bother me because I knew everybody was dealing with it. You don’t have to make it harder than it has to be.”
Wang made it hard enough. Last year’s 4A state runner-up regrouped after a slow start to get within two shots of Humphreys entering the final hole.
“I was trying not to get complacent on the back nine,” he said. “I was trying to make each shot important, so I didn’t relax and think ‘I got this.’ I knew with these guys, every shot was going to be important down the stretch.”
On his approach to the 18th green, with victory in sight, Humphreys’ goal was to not make a crucial mistake.
“I just wanted to make sure I got it over the water,” he said. “The grass was so wet, it’s easy to hit the ball fat and come up short.”
Instead, he stuck his shot eight feet from the hole for a birdie chance.
“That was awesome, hitting it eight feet from the hole,” he said. “That just made it so much easier, knowing I needed to two-putt from there for par. Nobody wants a 40-foot two-putt for par in that situation.”
Wang could have put a little bit of pressure on the freshman by sinking his own birdie putt from nine feet. But his ball lipped out, allowing Humphreys to comfortably par the hole and secure the title. His 2-over 74 was tied for the lowest round on Wednesday.
Union’s Eddie Abellar shot a 79 to finish with a 5-over 149 and a tie with Brian Mogg from Skyline of Sammamish for third place.
After starting the day tied for the lead, Abellar said he was pleased with how he played in the tournament, especially after failing to make the cut last season as a freshman.
“I’ve never really been in the position of being tied for the lead, so I guess I was nervous on the first tee,” Abellar said. “After that, I just wanted to play well, and I did for the conditions. It was tough out there, but I grinded it out and pulled out a 79, which I think is pretty good for my second year at state.”
Eastlake took home the team championship with 97 points. Kentridge of Kent was second at 69.50, followed by Skyline (65.5) and Camas (59.5). Union placed seventh with 48.5 points.
Among other Clark County competitors, Battle Ground’s Chad Hall was 22nd at 157 after a 78 on Wednesday. Union’s Ian Spicer and Camas’ Braeden Campbell finished tied for 30th at 161.
Olympia’s Brenden McCauley provided another highlight by recording his first hole-in-one with an ace on the 154-yard No. 13. McCauley tied for fifth with Lynnwood’s Rudy Caparas at 150.