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Aiming for low-key competition

Most participants look at games as opportunity to enjoy favorite activity
Monday, July 23, 2007 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 5:13 a.m. CDT, Friday, July 18, 2008
Hanna Brown hits on the eighth hole at A.L. Gustin Golf Course during Sunday’s Show-Me State Games father and daughter golf competition.

The 10-year-old boy excitedly points at two deer grazing just a few yards away. When his mother doesn’t notice them the first time, he impatiently points them out again.

The sun reflects off the morning dew Sunday morning as Ben and Annette Humphreys of Columbia prepare to tee off at A.L. Gustin Golf Course.

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“No mom,” whispers Ben Humpreys as he puts his driver away, “you’re aiming left.”

But her first shot of the morning lands on the green, setting up the putt for her son. After each player tees off in the Show-Me State Games’ parent and child golf tournament, they decide which ball to play. Then partners take turns hitting the ball until it’s holed. The Humphreys are one of only two mother and son pairs to compete in the under-12 division.

“It’s nice to have a little competition,” Annette Humphreys said. “But you can never count anybody out.”

This is the fifth year that Annette Humphreys has competed in the mother and son division, but it is only the second for Ben Humphreys. Annette Humphreys used to play with her older son. Ben Humphreys could have played in the individual competition, but he didn’t want to play by himself.

“They can compete without the pressure of having to do it by themselves,” Annette Humphreys said.

Although Ben and Annette Humphreys have 30 years combined experience, they still finish 14-over par with a 49, which isn’t bad considering they only practiced together.

Ben Humphreys also just finished playing summer baseball and had to adjust his swing, which was not easy for him.

“I was swinging and missing the ball,” he said.

By Sunday, he and his mother had found their swings. They ended up tying the other mother and son pair and went home with gold medals. They said they might play again next year as a team, but Ben Humphreys might decide he is ready to compete by himself. Either way, Annette Humphreys said she doesn’t mind.

“I just like it because I support something local,” she said.

But Humphreys hopes that there is more competition in the mother and son division next year.

“People don’t always know about the variety of sports at the Show-Me Games.”


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