The Maine State Golf Association recently named its Scholarship Fund recipients.
Sam Grindle of Deer Isle is the top scholar and the winner of the Winchebach Award. Grindle, the state Class C individual champion, was named to the Maine Sunday Telegram all-state golf team last fall. Other scholarship winners:
Spencer LaPierre, Gorham; Kyle Bickford, Cumberland; Thomas Murray, Bangor (an all-state selection); Peter Carley, York; Wyatt Foster, Howland; Joshua Pepin, Kennebunk; Colton Davis, Bryant Pond; Tyler McDevitt, Morrill; Chris Hillier, Bangor; Joshua Bailey, East Vassalboro and Edward Socker of Camden.
Each scholarship winner will receive $1,500 for the 2013-2014 academic year, renewable for up to four years of undergraduate study for a total of $6,000 per student.
In addition, Meghan Bickford of Cumberland is the Women’s Maine State Golf Association recipient while Brad Myers of Buxton is the recipient of a one-time Golf Contributor Award.
Criteria for the scholarship awards are to have shown an active interest in golf either as a player, a caddie or working at an MSGA member golf shop or course; demonstrating a need for financial assistance to attend college; be a graduate or prospective graduate of an accredited secondary school and be a legal resident of Maine and also be outstanding in character, integrity and leadership as shown by participation in extra-curricular, civic or community activities.
Since 1950, the MSGA has helped 503 Maine students with their costs for higher education. The total amount of financial assistance since 1950 is just under $1.3 million.
That money is raised through membership and entry fees paid by golfers in MSGA tournaments and the support of member golf courses and clubs. The Charlie’s Maine Open pro-am tournament is the largest fundraiser for the Scholarship Fund.
Nancy Storey, the MSGA’s executive director, said there are openings for pro-am teams in the Charlie’s Maine Open. The cost is $750 for a team of three amateurs and a golf professional.
The pro-am tournament is July 28 at the Augusta Country Club. The 36-hole Maine Open will be the next two days, also at Augusta CC.
The application process for an MSGA scholarship begins in January with an April 1 deadline.
PLAYING IN A midweek MSGA tournament at the Purpoodock Club in Cape Elizabeth, Joe Alvarez of Hampden started his round with three 3′s. Alvarez birdied the par 4 first hole, eagled the par 5 second hole and birdied the par 4 third hole to surge to 4-under after three holes. Alvarez shot a 69 on the par-71 course to take first flight honors.
The downhill, first hole at Purpoodock is drivable.
“I had a 12-footer for eagle that just missed,” said Alvarez.
“On the second hole, I drove down the right side which left me about 210 yards from the green. I hit a hybrid and had to hook it 20 yards. It stopped about 30 feet above the hole. I just had to get the putt started.”
He made a 15-footer for birdie on the third hole.
His team of Vance Gray, Jack Burt and Seth Sweet won team low gross with a 65. Sweet, the defending Maine Amateur champion, birdied the last three holes for a 72, which was second in the first flight.
Alvarez carries a 1.1 USGA handicap index and won the state’s match play championship in 2010. Alvarez said his handicap has gone up a little because of a slow start to the season. A start like he had last week can help him forgot about his earlier scores.
Alvarez, wife Wendy and two young children are in the process of moving back to South Berwick where they grew up. Alvarez works for Nvest Financial Group in Portsmouth, N.H. He is a member of Penobscot Valley CC in Orono and plans to play at Old Marsh CC in Wells this summer.
Alvarez will miss the Bunyan Tournament the weekend of June 1-2 as he’ll be moving then, but plans on playing in the Maine Amateur and the Maine Open in July at Augusta CC, the Match Play Invitational in August — along with trying to qualify for the U.S. Amateur which will be held at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass., in August.
TEE TO GREEN: The deadline for the 49th Bunyan Golf Tournament is Sunday. You can enter at www.bunyangolf.com. Entry fee is $99 for the 36-hole tournament.
The tournament is at Penobscot Valley and Kebo Valley Club in Bar Harbor on June 1-2. Class A and B players open at Kebo Valley and finish at Penobscot Valley. C and D players are the reverse.
Jason Harris and Casey Catell tied for the title in 2012, which was shortened to 18 holes because of rain. Last year’s co-champions are back, along with Ricky Jones, Ryan Gay and Jason Harvey, all former champions.
Tom Chard can be reached at 791-6419 or at: