Ian Umphrey's sixth birthday present was a set of golf clubs. Just a few years later, he and his father gave each other a promise.
"The rule was he paid [for the round], but that the first time I beat him I'd have to start paying for myself," Umphrey said.
It wasn't long before Umphrey began scoring lower than the man who introduced him to the game of golf, his father, Kevin.
Now, as a 17-year-old senior and Calvert's No. 1 player, Umphrey not only routinely beats his dad, but also a host of other Southern Maryland Athletic Conference opponents. On Oct. 9, he qualified for his third consecutive state championship by shooting a 4-over 76 at Swan Point in the District 4 tournament; his nine-hole stroke average of 38 this season led Calvert to a third-place regular-season finish in the SMAC. He shot an 84 in Friday's SMAC championship at Wicomico Shores to place 15th.
La Plata continued its run by taking the SMAC team championship with a 307. Warriors sophomore Joe Gross Jr. was the medalist with a 2-over-par 74, and teammates Brent Martin (77), Tim Deavers (77) and Kyle Murray (79) rounded out the scoring.
"We've achieved our goals, we won the SMAC, we won districts, we just have one more to go," La Plata Coach Mike Meiser said.
McDonough was second with a 323, and Northern was third at 349.
McDonough's D.R. Cox placed second individually with a 75; Martin, Deavers and McDonough's Matt Wagner were tied for third at 77; Northern's Adam Hoffer was sixth with a 78; and Murray rounded out the All-SMAC first team by winning a tie-breaker at 79.
Umphrey missed earning All-SMAC honors, but he'll be playing in his third state tournament next week by virtue of his finish in last week's district tournament at Swan Point.
After shooting 80-83 -- 163 at the state tournament as a sophomore and 80-76 -- 156 (tied for 36th) as a junior, Umphrey was looking forward to tackling the University of Maryland golf course one final time in search of a higher finish.
The recent sniper attacks, however, have forced the state tournament away from College Park and altered its format. Instead of the 36-hole championship originally scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, the tournament will be a one-day event Oct. 28 at Clustered Spires Golf Club in Frederick.
"I'm disappointed that it's only one day now," Umphrey said. "It's the last round I'm going to play in high school. That was the state tournament's trademark, that it was two days, and it has kind of lost that now that it's one day."
Another school of thought is that Umphrey could have an advantage now that the tournament is only 18 holes. In a 36-hole tournament, elite golfers usually demonstrate a consistency not present in lower-caliber players. But in a one-day event, any one golfer could have the round of his life and be crowned champion.
"You don't have to be as good for as long," Umphrey said. "It's a definite advantage for the golfers that are really on top of their game right now."
Umphrey's high school career will end next Monday, but his sights are set on playing for a college team.
"My grandfather was a Navy Seal, and I've always wanted to be in the Navy," Umphrey said. "I got a letter from the [Navy golf] coach, and I can't tell you how happy I was even thinking about having an opportunity to play there."