By rule, every golfer is allowed to carry a maximum of 14 clubs in his or her bag.
But Spencer Tibbits carries with him one other tool that has served him well through his four years of high school golf — experience.
“I’ve been in every possible scenario you can think of when it comes to a golf tournament multiple times,” he said. “And I know that even PGA winners, they don’t have a flawless week. … It’s a game of mistakes. It’s just that whoever makes the least amount of mistakes usually wins.”
So when Tibbits found himself struggling with a bumpy start at the Class 3A state golf tournament at Columbia Point Golf Course, he knew exactly what to do.
“I knew I made a couple of mistakes early the first day (at state), but I knew I had birdie holes coming in (the last holes of the round),” he said. “If I just played my game, made some putts, I could get a couple shots under par, and take that going into the second day. And that’s exactly what I did.”
Tibbits rallied himself to get back into contention by the end of the first round by shooting at 69. He then put the championship away with a 68 — he was the lone golfer to play two rounds of 71 or lower — earning his second consecutive 3A state title and third in four years. He finished second at state his sophomore year.
That also earned him his third Columbian All-Region boys golfer of the year honor of his high school career representing Fort Vancouver High School.
And it all goes back to nearly a lifetime of playing golf and his ability to remain consistent out on the golf course.
“The best golfers in the world are always really consistent,” he said. “That’s where I want to take my game and be remembered as a consistent golfer. … I want to be one of those player that you always have to watch out for.”
He looks to keep that stable approach to golf as he heads to Oregon State in the fall.
“I’m just going to practice and play as hard as I can (at Oregon State),” he said. “Obviously, it would be nice to win a few college tournaments. I just have to focus on the process of getting to that point. I’m just going to give it the best shot I have and see what happens.”
But before that, Tibbits will have another busy summer of tournament play, including the Junior PGA Championship and Sahalee Players Championship, as well as trying to qualify for the U.S. Junior Amateur and the U.S. Amateur.
“I got a lot of tournaments (this summer), … so hopefully I’ll be doing a lot of traveling,” Tibbits said.