VASSALBORO – Joe Walp of Deering and Ben Bell of Sanford faltered down the stretch in the state schoolboy golf tournament Saturday, but it wasn’t enough to prevent them from gaining a share of the Class A title Saturday at Natanis Golf Course.

Two others won their second straight titles. Seth Sweet of Madison posted a 2-under 70 in Class C, and Ali Prescott of Fort Kent repeated as schoolgirl champion, shooting an 87.

Malcolm Oliver of Lincoln Academy took the Class B title with a 73.

Walp and Bell each shot 75 in Class A.

The golfers had to contend with gusty winds, which made club selection challenging. They also had to navigate a wet course from Friday’s rain, which meant little to no roll on tee shots.

Class A and B players navigated the Tomahawk course, while Class C golfers and schoolgirls played Arrowhead.

Both Walp, a senior, and Bell, a junior, were in position to win outright. Bell was 2 under on the front nine but shot 41 on the back nine. Walp bogeyed his final two holes.

“I three-putted the 10th hole for a bogey and it just went downhill from there,” said Bell, who attends Sanford Christian Academy but plays for Sanford High because his school doesn’t have a golf team. “I didn’t hit many shots on the range beforehand because my swing felt great. I didn’t miss a shot on the front.”

Bell bogeyed 10, 11, 13 and 16 and double bogeyed 14. He rebounded with a birdie on 15 and sank putts on the last two holes to salvage pars.

Walp three-putted 17, then bogeyed 18 when his second shot on the par-4 hole trickled down to the edge of the pond guarding the green. He chipped up and two-putted.

“It was pretty ugly at the end,” said Walp.

Walp’s round was a roller coaster. He had six birdies, seven bogeys, a double bogey.

“This is the one I wanted,” he said. “I was on a state championship team my freshman year and I won the Maine Junior championship in 2010. I didn’t have this one.”

Sweet, who has verbally committed to play golf next year at Old Dominion University in Virginia, made four birdies and two bogeys. He had a good battle with Deer Isle-Stonington’s Sam Grindle, who finished second with a 72.

“I played pretty well,” said Sweet. “I set a goal to win this, so I feel very good.”

Oliver, a senior, took a double bogey on the second hole after hitting the wrong ball, but rebounded with a birdie on the next hole.

“I made a lot of putts for par,” said Oliver.

Luke Ruffing of Maranacook was second in Class B with a 74, and Daulton Wickenden of Camden Hills was next at 76.

Prescott started playing again only seven weeks ago after recovering from a torn ACL. She shot a 79 last year.

Edith Aromando and Sarah Hansen of Greely and Monica Austin of Yarmouth tied for second at 91.

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

[email protected]

Twitter: TomChardPPH