July 10, 2013

Maine Amateur: Nobody keeping up with Jones

Ricky Jones, seeking a third title in the event, holds a three-shot lead after the opening round.

By Tom Chard tchard@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

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Golf provides those kinds of moments and Ryan Gay, who will turn pro after the Maine Amateur, ran into one Tuesday. He had a 69.

Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal

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Ashley Fifield keeps his focus while sending the ball out of a trap and headed to the green. Fifield finished 2-over-par with his first-round 72.

Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal

Additional Photos Below

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Alone in front

Ricky Jones 66

Three back

Ryan Gay 69

Mike O'Brien 69

Tommy Stirling 69

Brian Bilodeau 69

Staying close

Scott Sirois 70

Craig Chapman 70

Mark Plummer 71

"I have a new 56-degree wedge and I don't know how far it goes," said Jones. "I peeked a little on the shot, wanting to know how far it would go."

Gay is hoping to end his amateur career with a fourth state amateur title.

Winning it on his home course would be perfectly scripted. He plans to turn pro the day after the tournament.

"I hit in awesome," said Gay, who played for St. John's University this season. "I missed a lot of putts. Still, I can't be too unhappy with an under- par round."

Bilodeau said the key to his round was keeping his tee shots in the fairways.

"I missed two fairways and hit 16 greens," said Bilodeau. "You have to keep it in the fairway. You have to be able to control your iron shots. The rough is tough."

He had five birdies and four bogeys. One of his bogeys was a three-putt from 4 feet on No. 12.

"I had a downhill putt. I just tapped it but it went 6 feet by. The greens aren't overly fast but the putts can get away from you," he said.

Both Bilodeau and Stirling birdied the first two holes.

Stirling came into the tournament playing well. In back-to-back weekend days recently, he shot a 68 at Purpoodock in Cape Elizabeth and a 67 at Gorham.

"I hit it pretty solid, birdied the first two and then tried to keep it around par the rest of the way," said Stirling, a senior-to-be at Southwest Oklahoma State. "The course was very forgiving but you had to play it to the right spots on the greens.

"The greens were perfect."

The 132-player field will be cut to the low 40 and ties following the second round.


Tom Chard can be contacted at 791-6419 or at tchard@pressherald.com

Twitter: TomChardPPH


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Additional Photos

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Mark Plummer, who has owned the Maine Amateur, winning it 13 times, fired a 71 on his home course, the Augusta Country Club.

Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal

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Seth Sweet, the defending Maine Amateur champion from Madison, was a member of the first group on the first day and finished with a 75, nine strokes out of the lead.

Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal


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