Last week was the start of a three-week stretch of tournaments for Ricky Jones of Thomaston. Based on his performance in the Charlie’s Portland/Maine Open at Riverside, where he finished as low amateur, Jones appears primed for the next two.

The 91st Maine Amateur Championship starts its three-day run Tuesday at the Kebo Valley Club in Bar Harbor. The tournament is 54 holes of stroke play with a cut to the low 40 and ties after 36 holes.There will be 129 players in the tournament for the first two rounds. Jones, a two-time winner of the tournament, figures to be in contention come Thursday.

After the Maine Amateur, Jones will head to the U.S. Public Links Championship beginning July 12 in Greensboro, N.C. It will be Jones’ third U.S. Public Links Championship.

But first things first.

Jones shot a 72 last month at Kebo Valley in the Paul Bunyan Tournament, which was cut to one round because of rain.

Jones said the challenge of Kebo Valley, which is a par-70, measuring 6,131yards, are the greens. They are sloped and quick.

Selecting the right club to hit into the greens and then executing is always a challenge.

“There are lot of ups and downs with the terrain on the front nine,” said Jones. “The sixth and ninth holes are strong par 3s. Playing the course once a year, you always don’t know what club to hit on those holes. You definitely want to keep your shots below the hole on most greens.

“I try to hang on on the front side and make it up on the back nine. I’m happy if I’m around par for 18 holes.”

Kebo Valley opens with three par 4s. The second hole measures over 400 yards and requires two good shots to reach. The third hole is short and uphill, but with a tricky green. The fourth hole is a par-3 with a couple of different tees. The fifth is a hilly par 5 with water in front of the green. The sixth is the aforementioned uphill par-3.

The seventh is a short par-4 that requires a careful tee shot. Holes 8 and 9 are the teeth of the golf course and arguably the two toughest back-to-back holes in the state. No. 8 has an elevated tee that looks across to Cadillac Mountain. It’s a slight dogleg left par 4 that measures over 400 yards. It has a sloped green that makes 2-putting a challenge. No. 9 is a 200-yard, par-3 over a hazard to a severely undulating green.

The back nine offers some breaks from the challenge of Nos. 8 and 9.

Kebo Valley Club is the eighth- oldest course in the country, having been formed in 1888.

Jesse Speirs of Bangor can’t defend the title he won at Martindale because he turned pro prior to U.S. Open local qualifying in May.

Besides Jones, other former champions in the field are Mark Plummer, Ron Brown Jr., Eric Crouse and Ryan Gay, who plays at the University of New Mexico. Gay won two years ago at Biddeford-Saco while Crouse won in 1998, the last time the tournament was played at Kebo. Crouse and Plummer tied after 54 holes of regulation. Crouse won on the third playoff hole.

THE VOTES HAVE been counted for this year’s nominees to the Maine Golf Hall of Fame. On Sept. 10 at the Val Halla Banquet Center in Cumberland, Laurie Hyndman of Cumberland Foreside and Frank Bartasius of Poland will be inducted into the hall of fame along with posthumous inductee Bessie Fenn.

Hyndman is a six-time Southern Maine Women’s Golf Association champion.

She also won the senior championship of the SMWGA. Hyndman has captured eight women’s club titles at the Woodlands in Falmouth. She has represented Maine as a player on the USGA state team championship and has served on regional USGA committees.

A lifetime member of the PGA of America, Bartasius has devoted his life to golf and promoting the game. The owner of Fairlawn in Poland, Bartasius has made the course one of the most affordable places to play.

Fenn is the daughter of Arthur Fenn, who was inducted into the first Maine Golf Hall of Fame class in 1993. She became the first woman golf professional to be in charge of a club in the United States when she took over for her father at Poland Spring and Palm Beach in Florida. A fine player, Fenn won the 1919 South Florida Championship and competed on the national level for several years. She died in 1963.

The hall of fame tournament will precede the banquet. The tournament will start at 9 a.m. The reception is at 5 p.m. and the banquet at 6. The cost is $90 per person for golf, carts and banquet. It’s $50 for golf and carts and $40 for the banquet only. For more information, call the Maine Golf Hall of Fame at 368-4907.

TEE TO GREEN: Dr. Leon Buck of Bath, the head rules official for the Maine State Golf Association, was working his 75th consecutive Maine Open last week as either a rules official or starter. Buck, 94, began his duties in 1936.

Tim Desmarais and Sam Marzenell are former Maine State Golf Association summer interns who had strong tournaments in last week’s Charlie’s Portland/Maine Open. Desmarais tied for sixth with rounds of 67-70.

Desmarais had the lead with five holes to play. Marzenell was in a large group that tied for ninth after rounds of 68-71.

The MSGA will hold a Senior Scholarship Tournament for senior players on Sept. 13 at the Augusta Counry Club.

The tournament will raise funds for the MSGA’s Scholarship Fund. Entry fee is $50.

Staff Writer Tom Chard can be reached at 791-6419 or at:

[email protected]