Ruby Haylock chips onto the green Wednesday during the Maine Junior Championship at the Fairlawn Golf & Country Club in Poland. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

POLAND — Ruby Haylock shot 1-over 74 Wednesday in the first round of the Maine Junior Championship for a four-shot lead in the girls’ 16-18 age group.

Haylock, who lives in Hartford, used a birdie on the eighth hole to propel her into the back nine, where she played even par to open a lead over her Morghan Dutil, her former teammate at Leavitt Area High School.

“I was just going in with a positive mindset and going out and playing golf,” Haylock said. “It’s nothing more than hitting a ball with a stick. As long as I can keep it simple and hit some good shots then I’ll be good.”

Near the end of a solid front nine in which she had to take just 13 putts, Haylock stuck her first shot on No. 8 just 5 feet from the hole and then made the putt for birdie.

“It felt good,” she said.

After Haylock and Dutil, last year’s girls’ 14-15 champion, Ruth Weeks is third at 10 over.

In this year’s girls’ 14-15 division, Jade Haylock – Ruby’s younger sister – leads at 10 over, five shots ahead of Alexis McCormick.

In the boys’ 16-18 division, Parker Hilchey of St. George leads after shooting a 1-under 71. He didn’t have a bogey on the back nine, a run that was springboarded by a great shot on No. 10.

“The 10th hole I hit it a little longer but I had a 10- to 15-yard chip that I hit for a birdie and that helped me par-out the back nine,” Hilchey said. “That felt good and I felt good after that chip.”

In second place is Charlie Austin at 2 over, followed by Connor Albert at 3 over.

“I think if I want to give it a chance tomorrow I have to shoot the same score or better,” Hilchey said. “I definitely need to do around the same.”

Neil LaRochelle finished the first round at 4 over and got to play with his neighbor and best friend, Nick Ferrence, both of Lisbon Falls, who finished at 7 over.

In the boys’ 15-16 division, Eli Spaulding of Freeport took the course over and shot a 6-under 66 for the lead.

“I was hitting to positions in the fairway, finding areas I could hit to the fairway and getting close,” Spaulding said. “It was being aggressive and tentative at the same time. Off the tee I wasn’t trying to do too much, I was trying to hit to my positions and my second shots I was trying to get aggressive. The short game worked its magic and the putting was great.”

The rising sophomore at Freeport High said the 17th hole was a make-or-break hole for his bogey-free round.

“I pushed a drive 40 yards way right, then I hit it and it hit a tree and bounced almost … back to me,” Spaulding said. “I then got on the green and hit a 20-foot par putt.

“I was going for my clean scorecard, which was no bogeys. I made it for par and I was feeling it. I said, ‘This is my day.’”

Kellen Adickes is second after shooting even par, with Lucas Flaherty in third at 3 over.

In the boys’ 12-13 division, Edward Goff, Michael Madden and Lorenzo Tarbox are tied at 5 over and Jack Quinn is one shot back.

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