May 12, 2013

Golf: Fairbanks-Warren prove hard to beat in any best-ball

By Tom Chard tchard@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

Pros Jim Fairbanks and Shawn Warren stayed hot with another win in a best-ball event. The latest was the Maine chapter of the New England PGA Pro-Pro Stroke Play Championship held last week at Webhannet GC in Kennebunk Beach.

Fairbanks, the head pro at Dunegrass CC in Old Orchard Beach, and Warren, a teaching pro at Nonesuch River GC in Scarborough, combined for a best-ball, 36-hole score of 23-under 119. Fairbanks-Warren had rounds of 58-61 on the par-71 course. Webhannet played at 6,100 yards for the event.

Warren had five eagles over the distance while Fairbanks made nine birdies. They beat the second-place team by 15 shots.

The Fairbanks-Warren team had just come off a win at the New England PGA Pro-Pro Match Play Championship in Massachusetts. They won four matches to take the title.

Asked about their effectiveness as teammates, both have stated they feel comfortable with each other. Fairbanks, a former Maine PGA Seniors champion, said they both got to know each other driving to New England PGA assistants tournaments over the past couple of years. Warren has cited the rapport between the two.

"Shawn knows my game," said Fairbanks.

"It doesn't bother him when I'm out of a hole and Shawn is always in a hole, which takes the pressure off me," he said.

And Fairbanks is steady enough so that Warren knows he can stay aggressive. It also helps that Warren, who won the Maine Open as an amateur in 2004, is playing as well as any of the top club pros in New England at the moment.

Fairbanks sums up the pair's recent success.

"I had a good partner," he said.

Warren's putter didn't stay as hot last Thursday in the first stage of qualifying for the U.S. Open. Warren shot an even-par 72 at Pinehills CC in Plymouth, Mass. Warren needed to shoot a 69 to make it to the next stage, a 36-hole sectional qualifying. Five players moved on. The last alternate spot was a 70.

"I hit 15 greens, but didn't hit it very close," said Warren.

"The few makeable putts I had for birdies didn't fall. It was frustrating because I was playing very well. I've been playing a lot of golf lately. It was just one of those days. I thought if I could get to the sectional round I would have a good chance because I've played in a couple of them," he said.

Along with his sub-par rounds, Warren wants to be more consistent with his overall play.

"I shot even par without having my 'A' game," he said.

WHILE WARREN missed advancing in U.S. Open qualifying, former Maine Amateur champion Casey Bourque, a Biddeford native, shot a 73 in local qualifying in Orlando, Fla., to move on to the sectionals. Jesse Speirs, a Bangor native, is first alternate after shooting a 72 in Memphis, Tenn. Both are pros. Bourque played in the 2004 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills on Long Island, N.Y.

TEE TO GREEN: Province Lake Golf Course in Parsonsfield will hold its eighth annual Memorial Day Appreciation Golf Outing and Barbeque on May 27, beginning at 11:15 a.m. The course is inviting all active and retired military, firefighters, volunteer firefighters, police, sheriffs and emergency medical personnel to enjoy a free round of golf with cart and barbeque. Spouses are also welcome. There will be a flag raising at 11:15 a.m., and barbeque from 11:30 to 1. The tee times will start at noon and are required. Call the pro shop at 793-4040. Deadline to reserve a time is May 21. Guests are welcome for a reduced fee of $54 for golf, cart and barbeque. The website is www.provincelakegolf.com.

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