CUMBERLAND — The thunder and lightning arrived at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, but Austen Truslow finished his round of golf before a 90-minute delay because of torrential downpours.

Truslow, a sophomore at Spruce Creek High School outside of Daytona Beach, Fla., shot a 1-under-par 71 to take the first-round lead in the Maine State Golf Association Junior Amateur Championship at Val Halla Golf Course.

Truslow lives in Islesboro during the summer and belongs to Tarratine Golf Club.

Defending champion Joe Walp of Falmouth Country Club and Oliver Malcolm of Wawenock Golf Club were tied for second with 73s. Rocco Spizuoco, who plays out of Falmouth, was fourth, another stroke behind the leader.

The 15-year-old Truslow said he was satisfied with his round, except for his short game.

“I hit the ball great but I didn’t putt well,” Truslow said. “I struggled with my putter but my irons were good today.”

He was 2 under on the front nine, with birdies on the first two holes.

“The front nine and back nine are completely different courses,” Truslow said. “It’s really narrow on the back and it requires different shots.”

Overall, Truslow called it a “fun golf course.”

Walp is more accustomed to Val Halla.

“I’ve played it a bunch,” he said. “I’ve been playing it since I was probably 11 and it feels almost like a home course to me.”

Walp agreed different shots are required on each nine and said it affected his game.

“I played better on the back nine,” said Walp, a member of the Deering High golf team. “The front side was a little struggle.”

Walp double bogeyed the second hole and had bogeys on the sixth and ninth holes. He finished 3 over on the front but was 2 under on the back with three birdies and one bogey.

“I struggled with tee shots and realized I couldn’t get any real birdie looks,” he said.” “I just have to get myself more birdie looks.”

Spizuoco double bogeyed the par-5 fourth hole.

“I messed up on one hole, the fourth hole, but other than that I just had a lot of good looks at birdie,” he said. “Lots of two putts, lots of pars.”

Asked what he wants to do improve in the second round, he said he is going to do what he did in the first round.

“I’m just going to play the same,” he said.

“I’m going to try to make greens and try to make putts. I’m going to try to keep my tee shots in the fairway.”

 

Staff Writer Austin Pollack can be contacted at: 791-6356 or at: [email protected]