June 17, 2012

Golf: Let the tourney season begin

By Tom Chard tchard@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

The summer tournament season swings into high gear this week with an old standby and another tournament making its first appearance in Maine.

The Charlie's Maine Open will be played Tuesday and Wednesday at Augusta Country Club in Manchester. The pro-am is Monday.

Starting Thursday, the LPGA Legends, featuring 40 women pros and seven Hall of Famers, will be at Falmouth Country Club for the Hannaford Community Challenge. It's the first time a tournament involving LPGA players -- in this case former players -- will be in the state.

The state open is being played outside the Portland area for the first time since the 1980s when Springbrook Golf Course in Leeds hosted the tournament. Defending champion Michael Carbone of Brewster, Mass., is entered.

At last year's Maine Open at Falmouth Country Club, Carbone beat Maine pros Shawn Warren and John Hickson in a playoff after they tied at 138 through 36 holes.

There are 156 players in the tournament. Carbone is in a threesome with Maine Amateur champion Ryan Gay and Hickson, teeing off at 7:30 a.m. Warren follows at 7:40 with John Elliott and Allan Menne.

Mark Plummer, a 13-time Maine Amateur champion and a member at Augusta C.C., will be paired with Ricky Jones and Tim Desmarais. Jones, of Thomaston, is a former Maine Open winner. Desmarais is an assistant pro at the Purpoodock Club.

The Hannaford Community Challenge will have a pro-am on Thursday. On Friday, the Legends will hold junior and women's clinics. The opening round is Saturday, and there will be 20 First Tee junior golfers paired with the Legends. The final round is Sunday.

LPGA Hall of Famers in the tournament are: Amy Alcott, Pat Bradley, Donna Caponi, Joanne Carner, Nancy Lopez, Patty Sheehan and Hollis Stacy.

The Maine stop is the second tournament on the Legends schedule. In April, the Legends played in Arizona, with Rosie Jones winning the Walgreens Charity Classic by two shots. Jones is playing at Falmouth, along with Elaine Crosby, who finished second.

TEE TO GREEN: The process to fill the field for the men's Maine Amateur Championship starts June 26 at Biddeford-Saco Country Club with the first of three qualifying tournaments. The others are at Fox Ridge in Auburn on June 28 and Penobscot Valley in Orono on July 3. A total of 260 players will be competing at the three sites. ...

Brian Bilodeau of Auburn won the state USGA Public Links qualifying tournament at Brunswick last week, with rounds of 72 and 71. He will play in the national tournament in Utah next month. Ricky Jones (144) was second. ...

The Woodlands Club in Falmouth will hold a Ladies Links Fore Golf clinic, featuring LPGA guest instructors Debbie O'Connell and Lynn Stellman, on Wednesday. Registration is at 1 p.m., with clinics beginning at 1:30. A happy hour will follow the clinics. Cost for Woodlands members is $65. For guests, it's $115. The price includes nine holes of golf after the clinics. To register, go to www.LL4G.com. ...

The Maine Chapter of the New England PGA will conduct free, five-minute lessons before the Sea Dogs game on June 26. There will be 18 golf professionals doing lessons. It will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. adjacent to the Slugger statue outside the ballpark. ...

The Lake Region Open will be held Saturday at Point Sebago. After the tournament, there will be a long drive and trick shot exhibition by nationally known trick shot artist Ben Witter. Entry fee for the tournament is $65. The public is welcome to watch the trick shot exhibition for free. To enter, call the Greater Bridgton Chamber of Commerce at 647-3472 or email director@mainelakes chamber.com.

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


Twitter: TomChardPPH


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