The Charlie’s Maine Open gets going Tuesday with a field of just under 150 players and a new site — the challenging Falmouth Country Club.

The tournament’s pro-am will be played Monday.

Players will cover 36 holes with a Wednesday finish. Overall, this is the 93rd Maine Open and the second year with a June date. It was combined with the Portland Open last year, taking that tournament’s late June dates at Riverside Golf Course.

Shawn Warren of Windham, a former winner of the tournament as a amateur in 2004, is one of the favorites. The assistant pro at Falmouth is enjoying another strong season — he has cleaned up in the New England PGA Assistants’ Series the past two seasons and recently played in a U.S. Open sectional tournament, shooting rounds of 73 and 70.

“If anyone is this area has the ability to one day play on the PGA Tour, I think it is Shawn,” said Paul Piveronas, the director of instruction at The Woodlands Club in Falmouth who has helped Warren with his game since his Windham High days. “Shawn knows the course.

Knowing the Falmouth layout is certainly an advantage. The holes can be stretched out and the greens are slippery, with enough undulations to test the best putters.

Piveronas also works with PGA Tour pros John Senden and Boo Weekley on an informal basis.

Also entered is defending champion Dustin Cone of Port St. Lucie, Fla. Other top players in the field include Mike Welch of Quincy, Mass.; Jason Parajeckis of Woburn, Mass.; and Kyle Gallo, Kensington, Conn.

Ryan Gay of Pittston, the reigning Maine Amateur champion and two-time Paul Bunyan Amateur winner, is entered along with fellow amateurs Ricky Jones of Thomaston and Mark Plummer of Manchester. Jones won the tournament in 2006 at Fox Ridge Golf Course in Auburn.

Leading Maine pros include John Hickson, Jerry DiPhilippo, Jim Fairbanks, Eric Higgins, David Cummings and Bob Darling Jr. Hickson, DiPhilippo and Cummings are former winners.

Besides the regular tournament, there will be separate divisions for Maine pros, amateurs and seniors (pros and amateurs).

Tournament officials are contemplating turning the par-5 sixth hole into a par 4. It would measure around 440 yards. If that happens, the course would play as a par 71.

TEE TO GREEN: In case you missed the results in the newspaper, the overall winner of last week’s Southern Maine Seniors tournament at Falmouth Country Club was Deane Beman, the former PGA Tour commissioner, who played in a foursome with Bob Marier, Vic Nunan and George Carpenter. Beman, who has a summer home in Kennebunk, was on the PGA Tour before serving as commissioner from 1974-94 and was a four-time winner on tour. As one of the top amateurs in the 1950s and early 1960s, Beman won the U.S. Amateur twice and the British Amateur once.

“We’ve never restricted who could play in our tournaments,” said Southern Maine Seniors tournament director John Gerber. “His playing partners asked me if it would be OK if Deane played. Dick McLeod, the former pro at York Golf and Tennis, used to play in our tournaments. My uncle Phil (Gerber) was a pro and he played.”

Beman, who turned 73 in April, shot his age at Falmouth …

In the first two qualifying tournaments for the men’s Maine Amateur, Vance Gray Jr. and Mike Arsenault were medalists. Gray shot a 72 at Penobscot Valley Country Club in Orono, and Arsenault, recently graduated from Gorham High, had a 67 at Poland Spring Resort. Twenty golfers qualified at PVCC and 26 at Poland Spring. The final qualifying tournament is June 27 at Biddeford-Saco Country Club, where 38 golfers will get into the 92nd state amateur to be played July 12-14 at Portland Country Club in Falmouth. …

Ryan Gay plans a limited playing schedule this summer. The reason? To rest up from a physically and mentally draining spring tournament schedule at the University of New Mexico, where he is a scholarship player and a junior to be. Aside from trying to qualify for the U.S. Amateur, Gay said he will play in the Maine Open and attempt to defend his Maine Amateur title. He will also play in the New England Amateur.

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

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