FALMOUTH — Chad Ramey had never won a professional golf tournament before this weekend. It was hard to tell from the way he played Sunday at Falmouth Country Club.

Ramey, 28, shot a bogey-free 68 to capture a one-shot victory in the inaugural Live and Work in Maine Open. Ramey earned $108,000, finishing at 16-under 268 for the 72-hole Korn Ferry Tour event.

Joshua Creel, who had the day’s low round with a 7-under 64, finished second at 15 under and earned $54,000, while Steve Lewton and Seth Reeves tied for third at 14 under and earned $31,500 each.

Cameron Young, Nicolas Echavarria, Lee Hodges, Taylor Moore, Spencer Levin and Jim Knous tied for fifth at 13 under, earning $18,700.

Last week, Ramey clinched a spot in the PGA Tour for next season. On Sunday, he held aloft the trophy while reveling in a moment he had never experienced since turning pro in 2014.

“It’s amazing. It’s kind of like getting the monkey off the back. … It’s been a long time coming,” said Ramey, who lives in Fulton, Mississippi. “To be honest, I was kind of weirdly calmer than I had been in the past. I couldn’t tell you why, I have no idea why.”


He paused. He did have an idea.

“Maybe it was having Dad on the bag,” Ramey said.

Ramey’s father, Stanley, served as his caddie for the week, and Ramey said his presence was a calming one as he approached his career breakthrough.

“He’s the one who got me started; we still work on my swing together,” he said. “It’s just kind of a cherry on top for the first win.”

Ramey didn’t make it easy for the players chasing him, recording 15 pars in addition to birdies on the fifth, sixth and 13th holes. He took the lead for good on 13, hitting a wedge from 85 yards to 6 feet and sinking the putt.

His round did have some drama, though. His drive on the third hole flirted with the woods, and he had to get up-and-down from a bunker for his par. He made a nervy 5-footer for par on the ninth, and on the par-5 17th, he tried to hit his second shot near the green, but instead topped it and saw it settle nearly 100 yards from the hole.


No matter.

“It was a perfect layup,” he said. “I had a wedge in my hand.”

Ramey thought he was tied for the lead going to the 18th hole, but finally looked at the leaderboard and saw he was alone in first. His tee shot found the fairway but was short, giving him a 5-iron into the tricky, bunker-guarded green. His approach veered left and threatened the left bunker, but held on the green.

Two putts later, he was a champion at last.

“To be honest, I didn’t think it was as close as it was to the bunker, and then I was like ‘Man, this is only 3 feet (away),” he said. “Cut it close.”

Ramey’s biggest challenges came from Creel and Lewton, both of whom began the day four shots back. Playing in the same group, they turned in the day’s best rounds, with Creel beginning with six birdies in seven holes and taking a share of the lead before Ramey’s group had even teed off.


Creel, who set the course record at 9-under 62 in the second round, knew he could go low again.

“We didn’t quite get (the record) done (again),” he said. “But we came close.”

Creel’s surge was well-timed. The second-place finish, powered by nine birdies, lifted him to 69th in the Korn Ferry standings; the top 75 players at season’s end keep their tour status.

“It’s so much fun,” Creel said of playing his way into contention. “That’s why I would think everyone out here is playing the game, for moments like that. It’s hard to replicate in day-to-day life. When you get that opportunity, you try to take advantage, and when it works out, it works out.”

Lewton, who posted a career-best tie for 13th last week, matched his partner nearly stroke for stroke.

“Josh really had it going on the front nine. I was just trying to keep pace, really,” he said. “I just didn’t hole enough putts down the stretch, unfortunately. But I played really well. I’m happy.”

Reeves, likewise, found himself in contention for the win, posting four back-nine birdies. He entered the tournament in 22nd place in the standings and is in prime position to earn a promotion to the PGA Tour. The top 25 in the standings at season’s end get their card.

“I knew the guys that were first or second or so were great players,” he said. “I honestly didn’t think I had much of a chance, but it was windy enough where I felt like if I got to 4 or 5 under (for the day) I’d be close, and I was.”

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