MAINE JUNIOR AMATEUR boys 16-18 champion Ryan Collins, right, poses with Maine Golf Association’s Mike Doran after the final round at Brunswick Golf Club on Wednesday. Collins rallied from a six-stroke deficit for the win. ERIC MAXIM / THE TIMES RECORD

MAINE JUNIOR AMATEUR boys 16-18 champion Ryan Collins, right, poses with Maine Golf Association’s Mike Doran after the final round at Brunswick Golf Club on Wednesday. Collins rallied from a six-stroke deficit for the win. ERIC MAXIM / THE TIMES RECORD

BRUNSWICK

Big hitting Ryan Collins was playing for second place at the Maine Junior Amateur Championship at Brunswick Golf Club on Wednesday.

Trailing first-round leader Mitchell Tarrio by four shots coming into the second and final round had Collins thinking of his impending battle with friend and playing partner Jeremy Baker. Down by six shots after a 2-over par opening nine did little to sway the soon to be University of Pennsylvania student to consider an improbable comeback.

But it happened anyway.

Collins turned in a 3- under par 34 over the final nine holes to force a playoff, then managed a par on the first extra hole to become the 2018 Maine Junior Amateur champion.

Collins’ comeback began with a solid approach to the 10th green (the No. 1 hole at BGC) to within four feet. He drained the birdie putt.

Tarrio made par at 10, 11, 12 and 13, while Collins picked up another shot with a birdie on the par-5 12th hole to get to 1-over par for the tournament. However, he was still four shots behind the leader.

RYAN COLLINS, right, shakes hands with Mitchell Tarrio after Collins won the Maine Junior Amateur boys 16-18 flight at Brunswick Golf Club on Wednesday. Collins rallied from a sixstroke deficit to force an extra hole. Collins made par for the victory. Both Tarrio and Collins finished at even par 144. ERIC MAXIM / THE TIMES RECORD

RYAN COLLINS, right, shakes hands with Mitchell Tarrio after Collins won the Maine Junior Amateur boys 16-18 flight at Brunswick Golf Club on Wednesday. Collins rallied from a sixstroke deficit to force an extra hole. Collins made par for the victory. Both Tarrio and Collins finished at even par 144. ERIC MAXIM / THE TIMES RECORD

The leader’s struggles began on the 14th hole. A 3- putt from above the hole drew Collins to within three strokes, and another bogey by Tarrio on 15 made for a two-shot gap.

“I started thinking about it then,” said Collins, who saved par on 15 “I’m down two, and a birdie and a bogey is all it takes, and low and behold it happens on 16.”

Collins punched in a birdie on the par-4 16th, while Tarrio 3-putted for the third time in the round.

“My putting today was very sketchy. I missed a lot of long putts, a lot of short putts. I had a lot of dropped putts, missed a 7- footer that lipped out. Sometimes that is golf. I had 11 birdies in the tournament, but the putting wasn’t there either day. Inside 5 feet was the key today.”

Bad drive

After launching drives throughout the final round, Collins had one get away from him. His drive on 17 hit trees and was lost in the deep woods to the right of the fairway.

Despite the poor shot, Collins managed a bogey to stay within a stroke heading to the final hole.

“It was the worst shot that I hit all tournament. But I managed to get up and down for a bogey,” said Collins.

On the final hole of regulation, Tarrio repeated what he had done in the opening round. He used an iron on the par 5, putting his shot short but in the middle of the fairway.

Collins stepped up and launched a driver, clearing the turn and giving him a view of the large green over the water hazard.

Tarrio played short of the green, and his third shot landed 7 feet from the pin. Meanwhile, Collins sent his second shot to within 16 feet, leaving him with an eagle putt. Both two-putted, however Collins’ birdie sent the match to an extra hole.

“I played 18 the same way yesterday, and I ended up with a bogey, a 3-putt,” Tarrio said with a chuckle. “(Ryan) hit a good shot there, a good drive. It’s not even a guarantee to get to the green with a good drive if you don’t make the corner.”

“I knew that I could get on in two. I made my 2-putt for birdie, he made par, and I still figured it was for second because of the way Armand (Ouellette) had played. I knew I had it in me, I just needed to execute.”

The match went back to BGC’s first hole. Earlier in the second round, Tarrio’s drive hooked left, but hit solidly off a tree and into good position. On the extra hole, Tarrio again hooked his drive. However this time, the ball avoided the trees and ended up deep in the brush.

“I was thinking to not miss left, and I missed left,” said Tarrio.

After seeing Tarrio’s misfortunes, Collins pulled out a 4-iron and played safe, putting his drive in the center of the fairway, 150 yards from the green.

“I saw his ball go into the woods and it didn’t kick off a tree, and I hadn’t chosen a club yet until it went into the woods,” Collins said. “I hit the 4-iron, and knew I would be fine from 150 yards. I wanted to make a par to finish it out.”

Tarrio whiffed his second shot, and his third came out of the woods short of the green. He made the green with his fourth shot but watched as Collins 2-putted for the win.

“It is especially good to win it in my last year playing for this organization,” said Collins. “I won the title when I was 14, but the oldest division means a lot after playing for seven years.”

Ouellette rally

Ouellette shot 2-under par on the opening nine on Wednesday to get to even par for the tournament and three shots behind Tarrio. But a double bogey on 15 ended his hopes, with Ouellette finishing third at 3-over par 147.

Percy Zentz was fourth, while Austin Legge closed out the top five.

Topsham’s Cade Charron bounced back from a tough first round. He shot a 78 on Wednesday to finish in a tie for 13th at 159.

Mt. Ararat High School teammate Willie Kavanaugh struggled in his second round, closing with a 90 for a two-day total of 167, good for 20th.

And Freeport’s Ethan Sclar tied for 26th at 171.

The 16-18 girls’ flight came down to the final hole. Rachel Smith, who shot a 1- under par 73 in the final round, watched as Maine Women’s Amateur runnerup Jordan Laplume’s approach to 18 found the water in front of the green, giving her a one-shot victory at 152.

Mia Hornberger captured the girls’ 13-15 division, while the 12-and-under title went to Owen Moore.

See B3 for the final results.

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: