FALMOUTH – Shawn McLoughlin won his first tournament as a senior golfer in 2000 at the New England Senior Amateur Championship.
Thirteen years later, the youthful 70-year-old nabbed his second New England Senior title by playing steady golf for 36 holes and avoiding the big mistakes as he won by one shot Wednesday afternoon at the Portland Country Club.
McLoughlin, of Newtown, Conn., shot rounds of 73-72-145 over two days.
He parred the difficult 465-yard, par-4 18th by two-putting from 35 feet — the last one a 31/2-foot knee knocker — and then watched Bob Currey of Boston, playing in the next group, fail to make par on the same hole, which would have tied him.
Bill Hermanson of Connecticut, playing in the last group, also had a chance to tie McLoughlin, but he needed his 20-foot, downhill putt to drop and it slid left.
Currey’s putt was also downhill from 10 feet.
“I suspected I needed to make it to tie,” he said
Currey and Hermanson tied for second at 146. Robert Linn of Massachusetts was fourth at 147 while Jim Romaniello of Connecticut and Jack Kearney of Massachusetts tied for fifth at 148.
“I left before Bill putted,” said McLoughlin.
“I didn’t want to watch. It would have made me too nervous,” he said.
McLoughlin started the final round three shots behind first- round leader Bill Torza, also of Connecticut. Torza shot a final- round 80 and finished in a tie for 11th.
“I figured if I shot a 72 or 73, I would be in the hunt and that’s exactly what I did. All in all, I played really good and this is way beyond all my expectations.”
McLoughlin went 2-under on the front nine with birdies on Nos. 3 and 5. He gave them back with bogeys on six, eight and nine to make the turn in 36.
He had eight pars and one bogey on the back nine.
Along with his two New England Senior Championships, McLoughlin has won the Connecticut Seniors, the Metropolitan Seniors, the Westchester County Seniors and was twice Westchester County Senior Player of the Year.
McLoughlin also won the tournament’s super senior title (age 65 and over).
The players heaped praise on the condition, the beauty and the challenge of the Portland Country Club.
“This is a really nice course,” said McLoughlin.
“It’s a challenging course, but very enjoyable to play.”
Tom Bean of the Augusta CC was low Maine player and tied for seventh at 149.
Tom Chard can be contacted at 791-6419 or at: