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Royal Oaks Invite: Humphreys, Tibbits remain close on and off course

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.

Brian Humphreys tees off as close friend Spencer Tibbits looks at as the two play a practice round for the Royal Oaks Invitational Tournament. Former high school state champions from Clark County, the two now are in college and are excited to play their home course for the Royal Oaks Invite this week. Photo by Paul Valencia
Brian Humphreys tees off as close friend Spencer Tibbits looks at as the two play a practice round for the Royal Oaks Invitational Tournament. Former high school state champions from Clark County, the two now are in college and are excited to play their home course for the Royal Oaks Invite this week. Photo by Paul Valencia

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.


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


Nothing too outrageous. Or, least nothing they are willing to share. Humphreys joked that he has his clean image to maintain.

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.

Brian Humphreys (left) now plays for Boise State while Spencer Tibbits is at Oregon State. Friends since golf introduced them more than 10 years ago, they enjoy talking trash to each other on the course while at the same time rooting for each other. Photo by Paul Valencia
Brian Humphreys (left) now plays for Boise State while Spencer Tibbits is at Oregon State. Friends since golf introduced them more than 10 years ago, they enjoy talking trash to each other on the course while at the same time rooting for each other. Photo by Paul Valencia

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.

Spencer Tibbits won the Royal Oaks Invitational in 2016, when he was still in high school. The former Fort Vancouver Trapper is now at Oregon State. Photo by Paul Valencia
Spencer Tibbits won the Royal Oaks Invitational in 2016, when he was still in high school. The former Fort Vancouver Trapper is now at Oregon State. Photo by Paul Valencia

 

“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.

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About The Author

Paul Valencia

Paul Valencia joins ClarkCountyToday.com after more than two decades of newspaper experience. He became the face of high school sports coverage in Clark County during his 17 years at The Columbian. Before moving to Vancouver, Paul worked at Oregon daily newspapers in Pendleton, Roseburg, and Salem. A graduate of David Douglas High School in Portland, Paul enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving three years as a soldier/journalist. He and his wife Jenny recently celebrated their 20th anniversary. They have a son who has a passion for karate and Minecraft. Paul’s hobbies include: Watching the Raiders play football, reading about the Raiders playing football, and waiting to watch and read about the Raiders playing football.

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