Senior Theo Humphrey's unforgettable week at the U.S. Amateur came to end on Saturday afternoon at Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles, Calif., after dropping his match to Doug Ghim, 2 & 1 in a semifinal match. Humphrey was only the second Vanderbilt player in the program's history to make the semifinals of the world's best amateur tournament.
Humphrey, who advanced to the semifinals on Friday in a come-from-behind fashion with key putts down the stretch of his quarterfinal match, opened his match with Ghim Saturday going one-up through two holes. Ghim, a University of Texas standout, then won the third hole and two holes later, took the lead for good with a birdie on the par-three, 147-yard sixth. He then won three of the next six to take a 4-up lead through 12. Humphrey battled back to win 14 and 16, but his birdie putt on the par-five, 594-yard 17th to keep the match alive missed and Ghim came away with the 2 & 1 victory.
Ghim won his five holes with two eagles, two birdies, and a par.
"Our entire Vanderbilt golf family is so proud of Theo!," said Vanderbilt head coach Scott Limbaugh. "His growth as a player and person have been instrumental in the success we have been able to have as a program. Today will certainly hurt with so much on the line, but I know he will use it to continue to help him get better. The resiliency he showed down the stretch, just to continue to hang around and fight, embodies who he is as a competitor."
"It's been a really special week," said Humphrey. "It's been a lot of fun. Having my dad on the bag has been awesome. It's an experience we'll certainly never forget. I mean, he's been looking forward to this week for a while. He loves this course. I was just so happy he got to be out here with me for it.
"This was definitely a big step for me, another good tournament. Gave myself a chance. Didn't get it done again unfortunately, but I just feel like I've played a lot of really good, consistent golf, and eventually things are going to go my way and at the end and I'll play a little better when I need to.
The Commodores begin their fall season Labor Day weekend at the Carmel Cup at legendary Pebble Beach in Carmel, Calif. Vanderbilt ended the 2016-17 season as the number one team in the nation according to Golfstat.com and the Golf Coaches Association of America, and ended the NCAA Championship tied for third after advancing to the Final Four for the first time in the program's history.
"There is nothing I'm more excited about than getting out there and playing with my teammates," said Humphrey. "We have three new freshman this year and it will be interesting to see who jumps in the mix with us.
"I'm pretty excited about that and just to get back out there in about a week and a half at Pebble Beach with my teammates. Playing for them, not just myself, is something that's really exciting. I'm looking forward to the season a lot."