Defending 4A golf champion Humphreys returns to Camas Meadows

By Paul Valencia, Columbian high school sports reporter

Published:

 

The defending Class 4A state boys golf champion said he has been practicing at Camas Meadows quite a bit recently.

Not that he does not know just about every corner of that course anyway.

Brian Humphreys, a sophomore from Camas, will try for state championship No. 2 today at Camas Meadows. He tees off at 7:30 a.m. in Wednesday's opening round.

"I'm always happy at Camas Meadows. I love the course," Humphreys said. "I feel like I have a little bit of an advantage. I know the course so well."

All of the Class 4A and 3A golfers who made it to state last year and qualified again this year are at least familiar with the state tournament courses as the championships return to Southwest Washington.

The Class 4A girls will be at Club Green Meadows in Vancouver. The 3A boys will be played at Tri-Mountain in Ridgefield. And the 3A girls will tee off at Lewis River in Woodland. The opening round is Wednesday and the final round is Thursday.

A year ago, Humphreys was one of five golfers tied for the lead after the first round of the 4A tournament. He fired a 2-under-par 70 in the second round to win the the championship by two strokes.

Humphreys acknowledged that he has been wondering what life will be like this week as the defending champion.

"I wouldn't say I necessarily put more pressure on myself," he said. "I feel more pressure from other people because some people expect me to win again."

Humphreys and his teammates played in two "preview" tournaments earlier this month to prepare for state, one in Oregon and another in Washington. Humphreys won the Oregon event, but teammate Braden Campbell won the Washington tourney.

Humphreys said his main goal is to play well.

"If I win, that's the bonus."

After some pause, he re-evaluated that goal a bit.

"Obviously, I want to win again," he said.

At the 4A girls tournament, Sierra Kersten of Lewis and Clark is looking to defend her title. She defeated Olivia Benzin of Bellarmine Prep in a playoff. Benzin is in the field, as well.

At the 3A boys tournament, Frank Garber of Juanita is hoping for a three-peat. He won in 2012 in Spokane before winning at Tri-Mountain last year.

The 3A girls tournament does not have a defending champion. Chloe Bartek of Columbia River is now in college. Sierra Bezdicek of Mt. Spokane finished second last year and is in the field this year.