OAKLAND — Brian Bilodeau watched Caleb Manuel line up a 6-foot putt on the 18th hole and figured he’d better get ready for a playoff.

“I expect him to make it. One hundred percent. He chipped in on 17, you’ve got to think he’s going to birdie 18,” Bilodeau said.

Manuel’s putt caught the lip of the hole, though, and spun away, giving Bilodeau the win in the inaugural Maine Event tournament at Waterville Country Club. An amateur from Auburn, he shot a 3-under 67 on Thursday to finish at 3 under for the tournament – one stroke ahead of Manuel and two ahead of Jeff Seavey and Will Kannegieser.

“I hit a good putt. I thought it was in,” Manuel said, a 2020 Mt. Ararat High graduate from Topsham.

John Gilmartin of Manchester began the day with a one-shot lead over Manuel after the first round at Augusta Country Club, but he shot 75 at Waterville and finished in a tie for seventh place.

Bilodeau, who carded an even-par 70 in the first round, birdied the first three holes Thursday. A fourth birdie on No. 9 gave him the lead at 4 under.


Brian Bilodeau hits a drive during the final round of the Maine Event on Thursday at Waterville Country Club. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel Buy this Photo

“It was a good start. I hit the ball great. I didn’t have any three putts. I kept it in play and hit a bunch of greens. I hit 13 greens in a row to start,” Bilodeau said.

Bilodeau was steady on the back nine except for a bogey on 16. He made a clutch par save on 14.

“I hit my drive just in the rough, and it was a real bad lie. I hit it fat in the bunker and got up and down to save par, so that kind of kept the momentum going there,” Bilodeau said.

Bilodeau was two groups ahead of Manuel and had to wait to see if his lead would hold up. Manuel was 1 under heading to 17, where he chipped in for birdie.

“I put myself in a good position. I made the chip on 17, which I knew I needed to. That was big, so at least I had a chance going to the last hole, which I didn’t think I (would) four holes out,” said Manuel, the Maine junior champion.

Seavey, the pro at Samoset Resort, also was in position to win late. He was one stroke behind until his tee shot on 17 found the woods to the right of the fairway.


“I was trying to be aggressive. I knew Brian was at (3 under), so I didn’t think the conservative approach was really going to do anything. I was trying to hit a low slider in there and I missed it by about 10 feet. If I get that 10 feet more to the right, I’ve got lob wedge in my hand,” Seavey said.

Manuel was 3 under until a double bogey on the par-3 13th. He tee shot bounced through the green.

Caleb Manuel reacts after missing a birdie putt on the final hole of the Maine Event. Manuel finished one shot behind winner Brian Bilodeau. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel Buy this Photo

“The pin’s kind of right, and I went just right of it. It bounced pretty hard and it bounced down to the edge of the woods. I had to get out, and it was a tough shot, and I didn’t get up and down from there,” Manuel said.

“I just didn’t make any putts all day. I was just struggling on the greens.”

The shot of the day belonged to Seavey, who made an albatross with his approach shot on the par-5 third hole. From approximately 150 yards, Seavey was looking to set up a chance at eagle.

“John (Gilmartin) hit a great shot in there, about 5 feet (from the pin), so I was thinking if I could just get something in there like that it’d be great. It hit, it landed, we were watching it roll toward the hole, and it just disappeared. I turned to John and I go, ‘I think that went in,'” Seavey said. “But there wasn’t a sound from anybody. The cameramen didn’t make a move. There was Ruby (Haylock) and a bunch of other kids standing behind it. I was like ‘You guys should’ve seen it. You have better eyes than we do.'”

In 2018, Bilodeau was charged with nine felony crimes in federal court in 2018, including possession, manufacturing and trafficking of marijuana, and money laundering.

Last fall, he filed a motion to dismiss two charges, citing a congressional act barring the U.S. Department of Justice from spending money on prosecutions for violation of federal drug laws against caregivers who are in compliance with their respective states’ medical marijuana laws. That motion was denied in December.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.