Tim Martinez: Golfers already tearing up the links

Tim Martinez: High School Sports

By Tim Martinez, Columbian Assistant sports editor

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Every year, it seems there is a new stud freshman golfer in Clark County.

Two years ago, it was Eddie Abellar of Union and Diego De La Torre of Hockinson. Last season, as a sophomore, Abellar finished third at the Class 4A state tournament, and De La Torre placed seventh in the 2A state tournament.

Last year, it was Brian Humphreys of Camas, who went on to win the Class 4A state championship.

This year, the torch has been passed onto Fort Vancouver's Spencer Tibbets.

Tibbets, an accomplished junior golf player, brings his game to high school golf this fall.

Tibbets opened his high school career by shooting a 3-under-par 33 at The Cedars on Salmon Creek.

"That's the best round I've ever seen shot by a freshman on an opposing team at The Cedars in all my years coaching," Prairie coach Paul Shapard said of Tibbets, and Shapard has been coaching golf for a long time.

Tibbets followed that round by shooting a 2-under 34 at Heron Lakes.

But Tibbets' 3-under round wasn't even the best round of the week. That belonged to Humphreys, who opened his season with a 4-under-par 32 at Green Mountain.

And Tibbets' combined 5-under wasn't even the best week by a golfer. That belonged to Abellar, who posted two 3-under 33s at Camas Meadows for a weekly total of 6-under.

Two other golfers posted below par rounds last week — Woodland's Ryan Sturdivan (1-under 34 at Lewis River) and Columbia River's Sam Walker (1-under 36 at Tri-Mountain).

And four other golfers posted even-par rounds: Landon Joy of Hudson's Bay, Zach Ng of Mountain View, Braeden Campbell of Camas and Humphreys.

So, in short, there are a ton of really good golfers in Clark County.

A fan can get a first-hand look at most of these golfers on Tuesday at the Jeff Hudson Invitational at Tri-Mountain Golf Course in Ridgefield. The 18-hole tournament will begin at 8:30 a.m. with a shotgun start.

The forecast for Tuesday calls for sunny skies and temperatures approaching 90 degrees.

Other events

TUESDAY: This is the first big day of the fall sports season. In addition to the Hudson Invite golf, there is a full schedule of volleyball and girls soccer events.

THURSDAY: The girls swimming season kicks off with the traditional Greater St. Helens League Relays at Mark Morris.

FRIDAY: The 53rd annual Hudson's Bay Run-A-Ree kicks off the cross country season for many Clark County teams. The Week 2 football schedule includes several 4A/3A rivalry games: Skyview at Columbia River, Mountain View at Evergreen and Prairie at Battle Ground.

Tim Martinez is the assistant sports editor/prep coordinator for The Columbian. He can be reached at 360-735-4538, tim.martinez@columbian.com or follow his Twitter handle @360TMart.