POLAND — With the start of the 2021 high school golf season around the corner, Parker Hilchey had one final competitive tournament to get in shape before he sets his sights on a state individual championship this fall.

With the end of the Maine Junior Golf Championships, Hilchey shows no signs of rust heading into his final high school links season, as he captured the boys ages 16-18 title with a three-stroke lead after two rounds and 36 holes Wednesday and Thursday, Aug. 4-5 at the Fairlawn Golf Course.

“It was an awesome course, and I got to play with awesome people,” Hilchey said. “It was really cool to be able to win a tournament and coming down the stretch knowing I needed to hit some important shots, and be able to get it done.”

The St. George native shot a 71-76—147 for the victory, with Connor Albert of North Yarmouth (75-75—150) the runner-up in the 33-golfer flight.

The 17-year-old Hilchey had one of two under-par rounds on the first day, as he carded 71 (-1) to take the lead on Wednesday, before rain moved in for Thursday’s round.

“I think I played really well considering the conditions,” Hilchey said. “The first day the conditions were very easy and I put up a 71 (-1), which is really good, but the second day the conditions were much, much harder, and I had to adapt to the weather, the greens being slower and the golf ball not rolling as much. I think I played almost better the second day considering the conditions and the pressure.

“I played a practice round the day before [the tournament started], and I told myself I was going to hit these shots no matter how they were sitting or how I was feeling. I stuck to my game plan and that was the reason why I did so well.”

The second day of play provided rain throughout, as Hilchey began the final round with a four-shot lead over Albert, which was cut in half heading into the 17th hole.

“Immediately I knew teeing off the second day it was going to be much harder,” Hilchey said. “I factored in that par was going to be my friend, and I wanted to make par and not birdies out there. I was trying to go into every hole and make par and move on to the next one and keep my lead.

“[Albert] birdied two holes in a row, and I realized after that he was close. We were standing on the 17th tee box and he was two shots back. I said, ‘I need to birdie or par this [hole], and not lose this.’ I hit a great drive and great second shot and made the eight-footer for birdie, and that made me realize that I was going to win this.”

The victory gives the Windjammer senior more tournament opportunities, including playing in the 2022 Maine Amateur — which his former Windjammer teammate Cole Anderson won twice. Hilchey has played in the Maine Am several times.

“Going into this tournament I knew that if I won I would get invited to the Maine Junior team, and the Maine Amateur next year,” Hilchey said. “There was a lot of pressure and I felt really good winning this tournament, because it unlocks more tournaments I’ll be able to play, and a really good confidence booster for the beginning of the high school season.

“I love playing in youth tournaments. I love going all over Maine and playing in new tournaments and having new opportunities,” he said.

There were seven flights up for grabs, as Ruby Haylock (74-78–152) and Jade Haylock (83-84–167) — who are sisters — won the girls 16-18 and 14-15 flights, respectively, while Niamh O’Brien (44-41-85) won the 13-and-under flight (9 holes).

In the other boys flights, Eli Spaulding (66-75—141) was tops in the 14-15 flight, Joe Hansen (75-74 for 149) first in the 12-13 flight and Drew Mertzel (37-40 for 77) first in the 11-and-under flight (9 holes).

Ruby Haylock was the medalist for lowest round score on the girls side (+6) with Spaulding the medalist on the boys side (-3).

Hilchey is the son of Valerie and Garrett Hilchey of St. George.