New Castle’s Humerickhouse relishes Mid-Am experience
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
A slew of text messages awaited Keith Humerickhouse as he walked off the links at Atlantic Golf Club on Tuesday.
The heavily tattooed lefty had just finished up an impressive run at the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship, and his golfing cronies back at his home course – Glenwood Springs Golf Club – had been following his exploits attentively.
“As soon as I turned my phone on, I had 15 to 20 text messages saying, ‘Keep your head up. We’re proud of you,'” Humerickhouse said in a Wednesday phone interview. “It made me feel good. I wish I could have made if farther, but there can only be one winner.”
While he didn’t win, Humerickhouse’s performance at the Bridgehampton, N.Y., event was nothing to scoff at.
The 34-year-old New Castle resident, a former professional who regained amateur status last fall, fought his way into match play after an impressive run through two rounds of stroke play on Saturday and Sunday.
He followed a 2-over-par 74 round on Saturday to shoot a 76 on Sunday. Humerickhouse’s two-day total of 150 placed him in a tie for 28th place.
The top 64 advanced to match play in the event for players 25 and older.
It took Humerickhouse 15 holes to finish off Georgia’s David Noll in the round of 64.
A battle with San Diego’s Tim Mickelson, the brother of PGA Tour superstar Phil Mickelson, awaited in Tuesday’s round of 32.
With the Mickelson name drawing the spotlight and nasty weather conditions delaying play for several hours, Humerickhouse held his own in a back-and-forth showdown.
“I was actually up in the match early and he ended up coming back and squaring the match,” Humerickhouse relayed. “Then he went ahead and then, on 18, I made a birdie and squared the match again.”
Next came a sudden-death playoff on the 577-yard first hole. Mickelson finished in four strokes for a birdie and Humerickhouse finished in five.
Just like that, Humerickhouse’s Mid-Amateur experience came to an end. For this year, anyway.
“I definitely want to come back,” he said. “I can’t even put into words how awesome it was. It was first-class. The golf courses were incredible.”
And the weather that challenged the field in New York is something Humerickhouse won’t soon forget.
“[Tuesday] was brutal,” he said. “I can’t even describe how hard it rained. I’ve never seen it rain that hard for that long. It’s incredible we even got on the golf course. The course was underwater. It’s amazing how well that place drained.”
All dried out and finished with tournament play on Wednesday, Humerickhouse remained in New York to ride out the rest of his itinerary. So he was checking out the sights, right?
Humerickhouse and caddy Jeff Shreeve tried to score a round at the prestigious Bethpage Black course in Farmingdale, N.Y.
“That didn’t go as well,” Humerickhouse joked, “so we’re on the road to try and play somewhere else.”
Such is life for Humerickhouse, whose professional aspirations were halted a few years ago.
“I enjoyed playing golf professionally, but I just basically ran out of money,” the former teaching pro at River Valley Ranch shared. “It got too expensive.”
So Humerickhouse, a Southern California native who moved to Colorado in 1995, started a hardwood flooring business in late 2007. All the while, he never stopped playing golf.
Once his amateur status was reinstated, the serious play began anew.
“I love the competition,” he said. “I’m still very competitive. I haven’t lost any of that.”
Humerickhouse parlayed that competitive fire into quite the 2010 run. He won three high-profile regional events this summer – the Colorado West Amateur, the Rocky Mountain Open and the Colorado Golf Association Mid-Amateur Championship – before heading east for the Mid-Amateur.
“It’s been a good summer,” he said.
One that’s certainly seized the attention of his buddies back in Glenwood, the same ones who have flooded his phone with messages the past few days.
“I don’t know if Glenwood Springs has had anybody do what he just did,” Glenwood Springs Golf Club head professional Greg Gortsema said. “I don’t know. In my 21 years here, no one’s done what he’s done. … He’s just on an incredible roll.”
“I wanted to represent Colorado to the best of my ability,” Humerickhouse said. “And, obviously, I wanted to represent the Western Slope because there’s nobody from the Western Slope over there.
“I’ve had a lot of text messages and everybody telling me, ‘Keep it going. We’re watching.'”
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