Thursday, December 12, 2013
VASSALBORO - Cold and windy conditions affected the state individual high school golf championships Saturday, with a few notable exceptions.
Pete Carley of York chips out of a sand trap on the 15th hole Saturday during the Class B portion of the individual high school golf championships at Vassalboro.
Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel
While most players struggled to break 80, Mike Caron of Gorham, Reese McFarlane of Cape Elizabeth and Sam Grindle of Deer Isle-Stonington shook off blustery conditions at Natanis Golf Course to win boys' state championships.
Caron fired a 75 to win Class A by a stroke over Brad Smith of Brunswick. McFarlane's 74 was three strokes ahead of the field in Class B. And Grindle ran away in Class C with a 4-under 68 that was six strokes better than his closest competitor.
Alice Hwang of Bangor shot an 84 to win the schoolgirl title.
The season was a clean sweep for Caron, who last week won a Class A team title with Gorham.
"It's awesome," said Caron, who shot 77 on the same Tomahawk Course last week. "I tripled the last hole last week and I ended up birdieing it this week."
Caron also birdied the 15th hole after a bogey on the par-5 14th.
"That was a key one," he said. "I knew I could make birdies out there, but it was tough playing."
Grindle and McFarlane each shot a 69 at the team tourney last week, but McFarland wouldn't blame the conditions for the five extra strokes.
"I just didn't hit it as well today," said McFarlane, who had four birdies. "I didn't recover as well this week."
Since finishing sixth in the individual tournament last fall, McFarlane has played a lot of golf, including the Maine Open and New England Amateur.
"I play a tour called the U.S. Challenge Cup, which travels around New England," he said. "I didn't play that well in this tournament last year, but I've definitely had a lot of improvements in my short game."
For the second straight week, Grindle blistered the Arrowhead Course.
"It was colder here in the morning," he said, "but they had plenty of things inside, gloves and hand warmers and all that. It wasn't too bad."
Grindle shot par 72 last fall but lost the tournament by two strokes to Seth Sweet of Madison. This year he wasn't challenged.
Grindle had six birdies, two bogeys and 10 pars.
"I started off the day with a 20- to- 25-footer," said Grindle, who birdied three of the first four holes. "It got me started in the right direction."
Grindle, whose home course is the nine-hole Island Country Club on Deer Isle, has a career best of 64 at JaTo Highlands, site of his conference playoffs.
Hwang, the low junior golfer at the Maine Women's Amateur this summer, was one stroke better than Monica Austin of Yarmouth. Paige Fogg of Westbrook and Sarah Hansen of Greely tied for third with 86s.
Bangor's Thomas Murray (78) and Sanford's Ben Bell (79) were the only golfers in Class A besides Caron and Smith to break 80. In Class B, Maranacook's Luke Ruffing and Yarmouth's Red Desmith tied for second with 77s, and Deer Isle's Liam Porter and York's Kyle Cone each shot 79. In Class C, Zack Deblois of St. Dom's and Ashland's Mark Corella each shot 74 to tie for second place. Also breaking 80 were Waynflete's Tom Spagnola (77) and Winthrop's Taylor Morang (78).