Ricky Jones is one of only four golfers to have won both the Maine Open and the Maine Amateur. The others are Ed Abbott of Auburn, Jim Veno of Orono and Shawn Warren of Windham.

As Jones plays in his third United States Golf Association Mid-Amateur Championship this weekend in Texas, a look back at his enviable record is fitting. Perhaps no other Maine golfer has played in as many national tournaments. The one-time Rockland High golfer ranks as one of Maine’s all-time best.

Jones won back-to-back Maine Amateurs in 2003 and 2004, when the tournament was match play. He won the Maine Open in 2006 at Fox Ridge in Auburn.

In addition, he has won five state Mid-Amateur titles and will be favored once again when the tournament is played at Webhannet in Kennebunk Beach Oct. 1-2.

Jones arrived in Texas late Wednesday night and played practice rounds Thursday and Friday. The USGA is using two courses for the 36-hole qualifying that will determine the 64-player field for match play. The course for the event is Shadow Hawk in Richmond, Texas.

“I’m playing well and I’m getting better,” said Jones before heading out for practice.

Jones said having already played in several national tournaments “is definitely an advantage. You already know the routine and what to expect.”

Late Saturday, Jones was tied with 29 others for 39th at 2-over par after nine holes when play was suspended because of lightning in the area.

This is Jones’ third USGA Mid-Amateur. He has also played in three U.S. Amateurs, three U.S. Public Links and four USGA State Team Championships. Highlights from Jones’ play on the national stage include beating current PGA standout Dustin Johnson, 1-up, in the 2007 U.S. Amateur and setting a course record 64 at Charles River in Newton, Mass., in a USGA State Team event.

SUNDAY RIVER and Harris Golf is offering a unique experience, called “High Altitude Golf.” For $2,400, a threesome will get a helicopter ride from Portland International Jetport, or another suitable location, to Sunday River in Newry, 18 holes of golf with head pro James Gilleon, a former Maine Open winner, golf cart, club rentals, lunch and beverages and the return trip home. Golfers will also get a quick lesson from Gilleon before heading out to play.

“This is something Harris Golf has wanted to do for a long time,” said Matt Barnard, the marketing director for Harris Golf. “This is something special that you can’t get anywhere else. It’s more than just a round of golf. If you have a big enough field, you can get picked up at your home.”

Already, a group has booked the trip, he said. “The word is out there. We’re getting a lot of calls.”

With fall foliage beginning, views should be spectacular on the trip, not to mention from the course, where each hole offers something different.

Because of space on the helicopter, golfers are asked to leave their clubs at home and play with rentals, which is part of the package.

High altitude golf will run through Sunday River’s golf season which usually extends through October.

TEE TO GREEN: The final Maine State Golf Association Scholarship Classic of the season will be held on Sept. 27 at Prouts Neck. The scholarship classics along with the Charlie’s Maine Open pro-am serve as the major fundraisers for the MSGA Scholarship Fund which annual gives away more than $40,000 to deserving Maine students. This year and succeeding years, the Davis Richardson Memorial Tournament, to be played next Sunday at Fairlawn in East Poland, will benefit the Davis Richardson Scholarship Fund.

Jon Brogan of Cape Elizabeth won his 12th Purpoodock Club title with a narrow 41-hole win over 21-year-old Alex McFarlane, who is playing for Southern Maine Community College. The match went five extra holes with Brogan’s par on the par-3 fifth the clincher.

John Downing of Falmouth shot a 5-under 66 recently at Purpoodock, his home course. Downing went 31-35.

The Portland High basketball and soccer teams will be holding their annual golf scramble Oct. 8 at Riverside. The fee of $70 per person covers green fees, cart, cookout and awards. The tournament is also soliciting $100 hole sponsorships. Registration and entry fee should be mailed to Joe Russo, 21 Deepwood Drive, Portland, 04103. For more info, email [email protected] or [email protected]

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

[email protected]

Twitter: TomChardPPH