VASSALBORO — Mike O’Brien played well in the Maine Senior Amateur Championship last season, only to see his chances for victory disappear in a playoff.

This time, he made sure things wouldn’t be so close.

O’Brien shot a 1-over-73 Wednesday to finish at 3-over 147 for the tournament, good for a four-shot victory at Natanis Golf Course’s Tomahawk course.

Riverside Golf Course’s Mike Doucette and Falmouth Country Club’s Len Cole tied for second at 7 over. Val Halla’s Wayne Johnson was fourth at 8 over, and Mark Plummer, Keith Patterson, Phil Barter and Vance Gray tied for fifth at 9 over.

“I’ve won a mixed event, I won a two-man, four-ball tournament with a partner, but never anything alone,” said O’Brien, who was runner-up to Dan Falcone last year. “It feels good to win one.”

O’Brien, of Biddeford-Saco Country Club, went into the second round three shots behind Plummer, but played the perfect style to make up ground. He was unflappable, hitting 12 of 14 fairways and 15 of 18 greens, and getting the strokes he needed with an eagle on the par-5 third and birdies on the par-4 fifth and par-5 15th.


“I got off to a good start, and that helped me relax a bit,” he said. “I figured, ‘Just stay in the fairway and keep plugging along.’ The last few holes, I played ultra safe, but I had a pretty good-sized lead, so I just wasn’t going to make any stupid mistakes.”

There was one blemish: An uncharacteristic topped shot into a hazard on the par-3 10th immediately following a 2-under front nine. That led to a double bogey, but with a perfect 5-iron off the tee on the 11th, his confidence was back.

“After I hit the tee shot on 11, I relaxed again,” O’Brien said. “I was a little shook up after that shot (on No. 10).”

O’Brien hit one of his best shots on the back nine four holes later – a 5-wood that left him pin high on the par-5 15th and set up a stress-free birdie that took the suspense out of the homestretch.

“Making a birdie there really relaxed me after that,” he said. “I figured I didn’t have to do anything special, just nothing stupid coming in.”

Plummer and Patterson, who trailed by two entering the final round, both struggled to find the form that landed them in the final group. Plummer had six bogeys and a double bogey on the front nine and finished with a 10-over 82.


“I just didn’t have it. Little tired, maybe, I don’t know,” the six-time champion said. “Just one of those days. You have the good ones and the bad ones.”

Patterson birdied the par-5 first, but doubled the second and likewise had trouble regaining his momentum.

“I struggled with my putting early, lost confidence with it, and honestly didn’t hit it anywhere as good today as I did yesterday,” said Patterson, who birdied two of the final four holes to preserve a top-five finish. “I just totally lost my swing. But you know what, Mike played awesome, and he totally deserved it.”

Cole shot the day’s low round, an even-par 72. He was 8 over through 14 holes on Tuesday before turning his tournament around. He made two birdies and two bogeys Wednesday.

“I was in the ditch on 14 yesterday, and just had a ‘come to Jesus’ talk with myself. After that, I played 1 under for the (last) 22 holes,” he said. “(I said) ‘This is ridiculous. This is not me, this is not the way I play.’ … I was just sick of it. You’ve just got to have a self-talk with yourself once in a while.”

Doucette made back-to-back birdies on the 12th and 13th holes to seal his second-place finish and achieve his goal entering the competition.

“I had even par, 1 under on my mind, and that would put me in a spot for it. It was a total grind out there today, I was happy shooting 75,” he said. “My whole goal this week was to come in the top six in this so I could qualify for the Senior Match Play Championship. That was my big goal, and I made it.”

Marke Wilcox, Peter Hughes, Gary Manoogian and Reid Birdsall tied for ninth at 10 over.

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