Cooper Humphreys didn’t have a good start but found a way to finish strong to win the 2023 B.C. Men’s Amateur Golf Championship.
The Vernon golfer opened with a 73 on the first day of the four-day tournament held at Morningstar Golf Club July 11 to July 14. Humphreys then finished with rounds of 67, 66, and 68 to end up with a 274, 14-under par total over 72 holes that earned him the gold medal.
The 18-year-old won by six strokes over second-place finisher Jace Minni of Delta, who carded a 280, and 10 strokes ahead of bronze medalist John Morrow of Delta, who finished at 284.
Humphreys said the slow start wasn’t part of his game plan but he didn’t allow it to bother him.
“I just realized that there’s like three more days… I knew if I just stayed patient I was good enough to make some birdies,” said Humphreys. “And just realizing that helped me to stay patient.”
On the final day of competition, Humphreys remained steady and relaxed. He ended up with just one bogey on 11th hole and it earned him his first B.C Amateur title.
“This means a lot. I’ve always wanted to win this one,” said Humphreys, whose other collection of titles includes the Canadian Juvenile Boys Championships, Canadian Summer Games and Toyota Junior World Cup with Team Canada. “I came close a while ago and that made me sad I didn’t win. So, it feels good to win now.”
Humphreys, along with Minni and Morrow, will form Team B.C. that will compete at the Canadian Amateur Golf Championships. He looks forward to teaming up with Minni and Morrow and compete for the Willingdon Cup.
The top local golfer was former B.C. Junior Champion and Morningstar Golf Club member, Gavyn Knight, who finished tied for sixth place, shooting rounds of 69, 73, 72, 73 for a 1-under total of 287, 13 strokes off the lead.
“For the whole tournament I played pretty solid,” said Knight, who just finished his freshmen year playing for Boise State University Broncos in Idaho. “But today I had one bad hole and it kind of wrecked it there. But I am still happy with my score, 1-under after four days. It’s OK. It could have been better today easily.”
In the Zone Competition, the Zone 5 team from Victoria consisting of Kevin Carrigan, Alex Cartwright and Brock Holland finished first with a 6-over par team total of 438. Coming in second was Zone 4 - Dustin Franko, Dylan Bercan and Mackenzie Bickell - and in third was the Zone 6 team of Wyatty Brook, Aaron Fitch and Jagre Knight.
The Better Ball winners were Denby Carswell of Burnaby and Stewart Walker of Whistler.
The championships, which featured more than 155 top amateur golfers from around the province and Western Canada, was also highlighted by three hole-in-ones on the final day of competition and all on No. 8. Achieving the feat were Chris Hazeldine of Comox, Hudson LaFayette of North Vancouver and Holland.