Former HS state champions, two college golfers are ready for prestigious amateur tournament
VANCOUVER — They met each other through golf, back when they were 8 or 9 years old.
They took lessons together.
They played in junior tournaments together.
And when they reached high school, playing for different teams in different classifications, they cheered for each other.
Thursday, Brian Humphreys and Spencer Tibbits played a practice round together for the Royal Oaks Invitational.
Golf introduced them. Golf has done so much for both of them. And golf still gives them a chance to give each other a hard time, talk a little trash out on the course.
Where: Royal Oaks Country Club, 8917 NE Fourth Plain Blvd, Vancouver When: Friday through Sunday (Leaders tee off Sunday at approximately 2:30 p.m.) Who: 172 amateur golfers Admission: Free for spectators Defending champion: Robbie Ziegler, a former Oregon Duck, won in a playoff
2018 Royal Oaks Invitational Tournament
Where: Royal Oaks Country Club, 8917 NE Fourth Plain Blvd, Vancouver
When: Friday through Sunday (Leaders tee off Sunday at approximately 2:30 p.m.)
Who: 172 amateur golfers
Admission: Free for spectators
Defending champion: Robbie Ziegler, a former Oregon Duck, won in a playoff
This was soon after Tibbits had joked that meeting Humphreys all those years ago was “one of the most unfortunate things to ever happen to me.”
To be fair, there is genuine respect between the two.
Both earned the Royal Oaks Scholarship Award which allowed them access to the course and training facilities. Both won state championships in high school. Both are playing Division I college golf.
In fact, they played with each other several times this past academic year, with Humphreys’ Boise State team seeing Tibbits’ Oregon State squad at several tournaments.
This weekend, they will be competitors again in one of the most prestigious amateur events in the Northwest. The three-day tournament includes more than 170 golfers, with many coming from college programs throughout the west.
Humphreys became a name in high school golf when he won the Class 4A state title as a freshman at Camas High School in 2013. Tibbits won the Class 3A state title as a freshman at Fort Vancouver in 2014, then went on to win two more state championships for the Trappers.
That whole 3-1 score in state titles? It probably comes up from time to time.
“We’ve always been super competitive with each other,” Humphreys said.
Tibbits also held a slight advantage in scoring in college golf this past season. A freshman at Oregon State, Tibbits was at 71.85 while Humphreys, a sophomore at Boise State, was at 71.86.
Which leads us to the Royal Oaks Invitational. Humphreys said he does not know what his best finish has been in this tournament. He has played the last four years.
“I haven’t won yet. That’s all I need to know,” Humphreys said.
Tibbits, on the other hand, does have a Royal Oaks title, from 2016.
“That might come up with the trash talk,” Humphreys acknowledged. “He is aware that he has won this.”
Tibbits did not have to say much. A smile said it all.
Seriously, that 2016 title was special for Tibbits.
“That was a real cool experience. Definitely a confidence booster for me,” said Tibbits, who is playing this tournament for the fourth time. “It gives me good vibes every time I come here now. I’ve won the Big One, and I have the game to keep on doing it.”
Competing in this event means a little more to both of them, as well, because the club has done so much for their careers.
“We want to play well for all the members who have treated us so well,” Humphreys said. “I owe a lot to the members of the club.”
Plus, it is the Royal Oaks Invite, a tournament that started in 1957.
“Even if we weren’t members here, we’d want to play in this thing,” Humphreys said. “A phenomenal golf course with one of the best fields in the Northwest.”
“The course is in the best shape,” Tibbits added. “This is where I play a lot of my golf. It’s fun to play tournament golf at a course I play every day.”
They have different tee times for the tournament’s first two rounds. Tee times and foursomes for the final round — Sunday — are determined by scoring from the first two days. The leaders will tee off last.
A practice round on Thursday to preview the tournament was one thing. If they are together in the final round, they are both hoping it will be late in the day.