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101st event

Driven: Five area golfers, including defending champ, set for Maine Amateur

Anderson, Mazurek, Hardy, Jones, Hilchey among field of 132 for prestigious tourney
By Ken Waltz | Jun 21, 2020
Photos by: Mark Haskell; illustration by Holly Vanorse Spicer Cole Anderson, the defending Maine Amateur golf champion, in a collage of images.

Saco — When the 101st Maine Amateur golf tournament tees off Wednesday through Friday, July 7-9 at the Biddeford-Saco Country Club, the field of 132 players will include a solid Midcoast presence — including the defending champion.

Cole Anderson of Camden, who plays out of the Samoset Resort Golf Club and is a student-athlete at Florida State University, will return as the defending champion, while a handful of other area golfers are exempt or have earned the right to compete through qualifying tourneys.

Ricky Jones of Thomaston, also a member of the Samoset, is a three-time tourney champion, is exempt and is registered to be back in this year's field.

Among the local golfers who recently qualified for the event are Rich Mazurek, Jon Hardy and Parker Hilchey of the Samoset. Hilchey is a student-athlete at Camden Hills Regional High School in Rockport.

Other area golfers who participated in the qualifiers, but fell short in their quests to qualify, were James Anderson of the Rockland Golf Club, Paul Schelble of West Appleton Country Club and Kellen Adickes and Jamie Boutin of the Samoset.

Last year, Cole Anderson won the 100th Maine Am after a runner-up finish in 2018 and third place in 2017.

Cole Anderson finished at 65-69-67—201, or 9-under par, for the three-day, 54-hole tourney to win last year and was exempt from the qualifiers as a champion in the past 10 years. The same is true for Jones.

Jones won in 2003, 2004 and 2013, and was runner-up in 2005, 20010 and 2016.

The tourney, which was not held in 1943 and 1944, was hosted by Rockland in 1983 and 1971.

The Maine State Golf Association hosted a handful of qualifiers for the Maine Am over a recent two-week period. The qualifying tourneys began on Tuesday, June 9 and finished on Thursday, June 18.

Biddeford-Saco will host the Maine Am for the fourth time.

The event features 132 players who compete for the most prestigious amateur golf title in the Pine Tree State. In all, 53 players were exempt into the championship, which left 79 spots available for players from the four qualifiers.

Players who looked to earn a spot in the championship had to get through the qualifying sites at Willowdale Golf Club in Scarborough on Tuesday, June 9, Brunswick Golf Club on Thursday, June 11, Poland Spring Golf Club on Tuesday, June 16, and Bangor Municipal Golf Club on Thursday, June 18.

At Poland Spring GC on June 16, Hardy finished at 72 (+1, fourth), Hilchey 74 (+3, tied for 10th), Adickes 77 (+6), Schelble 79 (+8), James Anderson 80 (+9) and Boutin, Samoset 84 (+13).

From that qualifier, Hardy and Hilchey made the cut for the Amateur, while the others failed to qualify.

One year after the qualifier at Poland Spring was postponed due to torrential storms, players were treated to a bluebird day at the third of four qualifiers at the same venue as last year’s washout. The scores reflected the perfect weather, as 22 players earned a berth into next month’s Maine Am.

Leading scorers was Mike Brennan of Norway CC, who shot 66 to earn medalist honors. Next best was Alex Robert of Martindale CC with 68, followed by Poland Spring club member Daniel Bouttenot at 69. The cut fell at 76 at the par-71 Donald Ross layout.

At Bangor Muni GC on June 18, Mazurek finished at 76 (+5, 10th) to qualify.

In the fourth qualifier, 63 players competed for the final 16 spots available in the championship. Thomas Hanscom of Penobscot Valley CC led all scorers at 69 (-2). Max Woodman of Barnes Brook was the only other player to break par at Bangor, making an eagle on the 18th hole to shoot 70. Percy Zentz of Island CC and Jon Humphrey of Presque Isle CC rounded out the top three with rounds of 72.

At Brunswick GC on June 11, from the time the first ball was struck, rain was on the minds of the players who looked to qualify for the Amateur at Biddeford-Saco CC. Despite the rain — which came down hard in the middle of the round — scores were low from the strong field of players. In all, 20 players advanced from the qualifier to earn a berth in the state Amateur next month.

Alex McGonagle of Val Halla GC led all scorers, earning medalist honors after firing a 4-under par 68, the best score of the day by five strokes. Armand Ouellette of Biddeford-Saco CC was next best at 73. Six players, including 14-year old Eli Spaulding from Brunswick GC, shot 74 to advance. The cut fell at 78.

At Willowdale on June 9, it was first of four qualifiers, as 21 golfers booked their ticket to the championship.

John Witt of Cape Arundel GC was the medalist, as he led all scorers with an even-par 70. Witt used four birdies against four bogeys to advance.

Brunswick GC’s Brown Martin was next best with 71, followed by Patrick Bucklin of Falmouth CC and Tobey Buteau of Willowdale GC at 72. The cut for the qualifier fell at 77, as Brandon Wohl of Val Halla GC earned the last spot in the field on a match of cards.

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