MANCHESTER — A number of contenders emerged at the Charlie’s Maine Open golf tournament Tuesday, but the clear-cut winner was the Augusta Country Club.

The expected assault on the 6,350-yard, par-70 course never materialized. Only nine in the field of 156 were under par.

“It shows the little course can still compete,” said Pete Hatfield, the teaching pro at Augusta. “It’s a feather in the cap for the little guy.”

Thick rough and fast greens accounted for the scores, but so did tempting options like going for the green on the 280-yard, par-4 12th hole.

According to the director of operations and superintendent, Chris Barnicoat, the 12th hole proved one of the most difficult on the course. Many players went for the elevated green, and ended up out of bounds or in thick rough in front and around the green.

“I think our plan that we put in place is paying off,” Barnicoat said. “We just wanted the greens rolling really good and the rough is a bit of a challenge.”

That challenge also extended to the members who played, including the 13-time Maine Amateur champion, Mark Plummer.

“I never got comfortable on the greens,” said Plummer, who shot 74. “The greens are quicker than we’ve been playing all spring.”

The greens agreed with Jack Wyman, a 21-year-old from Falmouth who will be a senior on the Endicott College team. Wyman finished with a 69 despite three-putting the 18th.

“The greens are rolling spectacular,” he said. “They’re the best greens I’ve seen here.”

 

THE FIELD will be cut to the low 50 scores plus ties.

A little over $41,000 will be paid to the pros with $9,000 to the winner. It would have been $10,000 if the pro field was full. The field was a full 156 but amateurs made up the difference, including six out-of-state amateurs who were invited.

The Maine State Golf Association staffed the tournament with 16 people, including three volunteers.

“It’s the hardest tournament we run,” said the executive director, Nancy Storey, “because these are professionals and they’re playing for money, so this is a job.

“Normally my job is to make sure people have fun playing golf. Our job during the Maine Open is to make sure everything is done as professionally as possible. We don’t want to make any mistakes that will affect how much money they make.”

 

STAN PLUMMER SR. has been watching his son, Mark Plummer, for more than 40 years, and saw Mark shoot 2-over 37 on the front nine.

“He can hit the ball good off the tee but he’s been putting poorly,” his father said. “And if you don’t putt, you don’t score.”

The elder Plummer, 91, knows a little about golf, too. He’s equaled his age or better well over 100 times.

“When I was in my 80s I was shooting my age,” he said. “One of the best rounds I ever had, I was 70 and I shot a 66 down in Florida.”