One of the marquee events on the Maine State Golf Association’s calendar is canceled.

The Charlie’s Maine Open, which was set for June 30-July 1 at Augusta Country Club, won’t be held because of the coronavirus pandemic and the mandatory 14-day quarantine for people coming from out of state.

A large percentage of the Maine Open field is composed of mini-tour professional players and club professionals from the Northeast. Most would be unable to play in Maine as long as the quarantine is in place.

“We didn’t hold off on it. We could have,” MSGA Executive Director Brian Bickford said of the decision to cancel. “A couple of things happened; one is a lot of events are getting pushed back. It’s always conversation between the clubs that host and the existing schedule and what the governor is projecting (for how long) the 14-day quarantine (will be in effect).”

Bickford said the MSGA is looking to replace the Maine Open with a “closed” or “invitational-like” tournament for Maine residents only.

The MSGA was looking forward to the second year of the Maine Open being open to women. Last year, Ruby Haylock of Leavitt High and Greely High graduate Rachel Smith competed, with Smith winning by one stroke. Bickford was hoping for the women’s field to grow to double digits and had reached out to professionals across the state, as well as players from out of the state.

“Our goal was to get to a point where all the top players in the state would play in (the Maine Open),” Bickford said. “The women … don’t run a lot of championships. They basically run the (Women’s) Maine Amateur and they have an event called the Metropolitan, which is like a club team (championship). The men run about 42 championships. … With the merger of the men’s and ladies (golf associations), we thought it would be neat if we could have more in that championship category.”

The MSGA is also postponing the men’s Club Team and Senior Club Team Championships, which will be rescheduled to Sept. 27-28 at Belgrade Lakes. The Mid-Amateur Championship will be moved to Sept. 25-26 at Webhannet Golf Club in Kennebunk.

The MSGA is trying not to interfere with individual club championships that usually run in September, Bickford said.

“We butt up against a lot of things in September, and I used to joke September is the new August,” Bickford said. “Maybe it’s because I am older now, but it seems like there’s more activity, golf-related; the weather is awesome, there’s no bugs, it’s not swampy under your foot, the leaves are changing a little bit, it’s a great time of year to play golf.

No decision has been made about the Men’s and Women’s Amateurs. The men’s tournament is scheduled for July 7-9 at Biddeford-Saco Country Club, while the women are slated for July 22-24 at Augusta.

The men qualifiers are scheduled for June 9 at Willowdale in Scarborough, June 11 at Brunswick Golf Club, June 16 at Poland Spring and June 18 at Bangor Municipal. The Women’s Amateur does not have qualifying tournament.


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