CRESWELL — Kyle Humphreys is in a much better place than he was a week ago.
Regis High School’s sophomore standout shot 78 at Emerald Valley Golf Course Monday to open the OSAA Class 3A/2A/1A state boys golf tournament in eighth place after the first of two rounds.
Considering Humphreys shot a 95 to open the district meet exactly a week prior, he is playing significantly better.
“I took that as a learning point,” said Humphreys, who shot a second-round 81 to place sixth in the district. “I really wanted to win our district and it got to my head.
“I just took that as learning and that’s going to be my worst round. I’m not going to have that happen again. But it’s motivation to play better so a day like today, that’s a lot of motivation going into tomorrow the way I finished.”
Humphreys’ strong opening round propelled Regis to third place after the first day with 333, 13 strokes behind leading Cascade Christian.
The Regis trio of Casey Humphreys, Kyle’s twin brother, Dawson Dickey and Seth Kelley are all tied for 14th with identical rounds of 85.
Kyle Humphreys didn’t just finish well Monday, he also started well.
He was in third place after shooting 36 on the front nine.
But his back nine didn’t start as well.
He went double bogey, double bogey, bogey and double bogey on his next four holes to put him seven over par.
“I just got a little tentative,” Humphreys said. “I knew I was playing well and I wanted to play conservative and I just tried playing too conservative and it got away from me.
“I was like, if I can play the last five even or better, which I did, I’ll be feeling good going into tomorrow.”
Humphreys played aggressively the rest of the way, driving greens where others chose to lay up and pared the next four holes then sank a 10-foot birdie putt on the No. 18 hole to finish strong.
He tees off at 1:45 p.m. Tuesday for his final round.
“It feels nice,” said Humphreys, who placed 24th at the state meet a year ago. “The way I started on the back was a struggle, but to finish that way gives me a lot of motivation going into tomorrow.”
Blanchet is in eighth place with 374 after the first day. Junior Nick Conway is in 12th place after shooting 84 and sophomore Mike Bashaw is in 20th with a round of 87.
“I really wasn’t hitting the ball well all day,” Conway said. “I started out bogey, bogey, bogey then I just had a good last three holes there with a par, birdie, par finish. But really it was pretty bad all day.”
In the 4A boys tournament at Emerald Valley, Stayton freshman Evan Massena is in 25th place with a 93.
South Salem junior Ellie Slama shot an opening round 69 and leads the 6A girls tournament at Quail Valley in Banks by four strokes. Teammate Ashley Zhu shot 75 and is six strokes back.
McNary senior Cammie Decker is in fourth place after the first day after shooting 74.
Also at Quail Valley Dallas junior Kailee Curtis is 20th in the 5A girls tournament with 97.
In the 6A boys tournament at Trysting Tree in Corvallis, West Salem junior Andrew Eyre shot an opening round 74 and is in 12th place.
McNary senior Brady Sparks and South Salem senior Trevor Lawrence shot rounds of 75 and are in 18th place.
In the 4A/3A/2A/1A girls tournament at Eagle Crest in Redmond, Blanchet is in sixth with 435. Freshman Katie Goodwin is in sixth individually with a round of 84.
bpoehler@StatesmanJournal.com, 503-399-6701 or Twitter.com/bpoehler