FALMOUTH — Several golfers atop the leaderboard on Friday will be looking for their first Korn Ferry Tour victory this weekend in the inaugural Live and Work in Maine Open at Falmouth Country Club.

Brent Grant, 25, of Murrieta, California, took the second-round lead at 12 under, thanks in part to a tap-in eagle on the 17th hole and a birdie on the 18th. Grant is currently 71st on the Korn Ferry Tour points list and the tour’s longest driver.

Grant had a share of the lead after 54 holes in May at an event in Nashville but was battling a wrist injury and tied for fifth. He also tied for fifth in February at a tournament in Florida after holding a 36-hole lead.

“The first time I came into the weekend with my eyes like this, kind of like the deer in the headlights and I learned a lot from that,” Grant said. “Kind of the same thing in Nashville, but with (rain delays) and the wrist, not to make excuses, but we weren’t 100 percent. Now we are 100 percent.”

Then there’s Chad Ramey, 28, who was alone in second at 10 under after a 65 on Friday. Ramey has been probably the most consistent player on the tour. He hasn’t missed a cut since August. He’s finished second twice, third twice and has been a top-25 finisher 17 times, with over $360,000 earned. He’s currently eighth on the points list and has his first PGA Tour card secured for the 2021-22 season.

But the Fulton, Mississippi, native and resident has yet to win on any PGA Tour affiliated circuit.


“Yep. Haven’t got it yet, but you know that’s what I’m after, what I’m working toward,” Ramey said. “I’m just going to keep my head down and keep working toward that, and I believe it’s going to come one day.”

Five players are tied for third at 9 under: Jim Knous, 31, of Colorado; Joshua Creel, 31, of Wyoming; Lee Hodges, 26, of Ardmore, Alabama; Connecticut native Brett Stegmaier, 37; and Brady Schnell, 36, of Nebraska. Knous is trying to come back from an injury. Creel (No. 103) and Schnell (No. 160) are both trying to claw their way into the top 75 to secure their status for next season on the Korn Ferry Tour.

Knous, Creel and Stegmaier are also looking for their first win. Hodges, a winner in 2020, is No. 10 on the points list and, like Ramey, has clinched a PGA Tour card for next season.

Knous, Stegmaier and Grant shared the first-round lead at 7-under with Steve LeBrun, who fell off the pace with a 2-over 73.

The field was cut from its original 156 players to the low 65 plus ties, which this week resulted in 66 players at 2 under or better moving on. Saturday’s action will begin with the first of 33 twosomes at 7:10 a.m. Grant and Ramey will be the final pair to tee off at 12:30 p.m.

Portland’s Shawn Warren, an assistant teaching pro at Falmouth Country Club, was at 2 under through 14 holes but bogeyed the 15th. Knowing he needed another birdie, Warren bogey the final hole and finished at even par after a 73.


“I was really disappointed in the result, but overall just a great experience coming out and playing in front of all my friends and family, all the members,” Warren said. “You couldn’t ask for a better time except for the end result.”

Warren and his playing partner, Caleb Manuel, a 19-year-old amateur from Topsham, drew a large gallery that numbered over 200 fans walking along with them on Friday. Manuel, who was 14 over for his first nine holes on Thursday, played much better Friday, shooting a 73 to finish at 16 over.

The attendance on Friday was 1,450, according to a tournament publicist.

Creel set a Falmouth Country Club scoring record with his round of 62, after playing the course in even par on Thursday afternoon in windier conditions. Creel made seven birdies and an eagle on the par-5 sixth during his morning round.

“Yesterday, I birdied my last three to get it to even par, and then came out with perfect conditions today and rolled the rock to get to 9 under,” Creel said.

Spencer Levin also made a charge. Levin twice holed out from the fairway for eagles – on the brutish, 588-yard par-5 14th with a wedge from 90 yards, and again on the 415-yard fourth hole from about 130 yards. Levin shot a 65 and moved to 8 under. Levin, 37, was a PGA Tour regular for a decade and had three seasons when he earned more than a million dollars. But now he has only conditional status for the Korn Ferry Tour, and this was just his 11th start of the extended 2020-21 season.

“I had two hole-outs in the same round, so that’s pretty rare. And … I had a kid born yesterday, too,” Levin said. “So it’s my first round with my new child and I had two hole-outs, so it was a great day. It’s been a cool few hours for me.”

Sophie, his second child, is with her mother back home in Sacramento, California.

“She came two weeks early. I planned on being back there for her being born,” Levin said. “I texted my girlfriend and she said, ‘I’m going into labor,’ and she said stay out here and play because you’re on the other side of the country.”

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