May 19, 2013

Golf: Young golfers earn scholarship funds for college

By Tom Chard
Staff Writer

The Maine State Golf Association recently named its Scholarship Fund recipients.

Sam Grindle of Deer Isle is the top scholar and the winner of the Winchebach Award. Grindle, the state Class C individual champion, was named to the Maine Sunday Telegram all-state golf team last fall. Other scholarship winners:

Spencer LaPierre, Gorham; Kyle Bickford, Cumberland; Thomas Murray, Bangor (an all-state selection); Peter Carley, York; Wyatt Foster, Howland; Joshua Pepin, Kennebunk; Colton Davis, Bryant Pond; Tyler McDevitt, Morrill; Chris Hillier, Bangor; Joshua Bailey, East Vassalboro and Edward Socker of Camden.

Each scholarship winner will receive $1,500 for the 2013-2014 academic year, renewable for up to four years of undergraduate study for a total of $6,000 per student.

In addition, Meghan Bickford of Cumberland is the Women's Maine State Golf Association recipient while Brad Myers of Buxton is the recipient of a one-time Golf Contributor Award.

Criteria for the scholarship awards are to have shown an active interest in golf either as a player, a caddie or working at an MSGA member golf shop or course; demonstrating a need for financial assistance to attend college; be a graduate or prospective graduate of an accredited secondary school and be a legal resident of Maine and also be outstanding in character, integrity and leadership as shown by participation in extra-curricular, civic or community activities.

Since 1950, the MSGA has helped 503 Maine students with their costs for higher education. The total amount of financial assistance since 1950 is just under $1.3 million.

That money is raised through membership and entry fees paid by golfers in MSGA tournaments and the support of member golf courses and clubs. The Charlie's Maine Open pro-am tournament is the largest fundraiser for the Scholarship Fund.

Nancy Storey, the MSGA's executive director, said there are openings for pro-am teams in the Charlie's Maine Open. The cost is $750 for a team of three amateurs and a golf professional.

The pro-am tournament is July 28 at the Augusta Country Club. The 36-hole Maine Open will be the next two days, also at Augusta CC.

The application process for an MSGA scholarship begins in January with an April 1 deadline.

PLAYING IN A midweek MSGA tournament at the Purpoodock Club in Cape Elizabeth, Joe Alvarez of Hampden started his round with three 3's. Alvarez birdied the par 4 first hole, eagled the par 5 second hole and birdied the par 4 third hole to surge to 4-under after three holes. Alvarez shot a 69 on the par-71 course to take first flight honors.

The downhill, first hole at Purpoodock is drivable.

"I had a 12-footer for eagle that just missed," said Alvarez.

"On the second hole, I drove down the right side which left me about 210 yards from the green. I hit a hybrid and had to hook it 20 yards. It stopped about 30 feet above the hole. I just had to get the putt started."

He made a 15-footer for birdie on the third hole.

His team of Vance Gray, Jack Burt and Seth Sweet won team low gross with a 65. Sweet, the defending Maine Amateur champion, birdied the last three holes for a 72, which was second in the first flight.

Alvarez carries a 1.1 USGA handicap index and won the state's match play championship in 2010. Alvarez said his handicap has gone up a little because of a slow start to the season. A start like he had last week can help him forgot about his earlier scores.

(Continued on page 2)

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