Hayes Defends Mid-Amateur Title at Webhannet
KENNEBUNK – On a late fall day where the fog enveloped the golf course for the first few hours of play, players were treated to another difficult test for the conclusion of the 2020 Mid-Amateur Championship. By the time the leaders went off at 1:15 pm, most of the thick fog had dissipated, and the stage was set for a dramatic finish to the season’s last individual championship event.
Ricky Jones sat on the overnight lead after an opening round 65, but his three shot lead over defending champion John Hayes was erased after only four holes to draw the rest of the field closer. After an opening 68 of his own, Hayes birdied both of Webhannet’s front nine par-5’s to turn in one under. Jones struggled on the front, going out in 42, sitting tied for second with the group’s third player and home club member Todd Kirn with nine holes to go.
Hayes, a 30-year old who plays out of Purpoodock Club, failed to make any mistakes and was able to cruise around the back nine making the pars he needed to coast in for victory. He played the second nine without dropping a shot, and with birdies on 14 and 18 he managed his second consecutive round of 68 to finish the tournament at 136 (-6).
With the win, Hayes adds to an already impressive resume on the Maine stage, adding another championship trophy to his mantle. With his second Mid-Amateur title, he joins Ricky Jones, Mark Plummer, Bob Girvan and Joe Alvarez as the only multiple winner of this event. In addition to the Mid-Amateur wins, Hayes is also a former Maine Junior champion (2006), Match Play champion (2012) and Maine Amateur champion (2015).
Playing in the group in front of Hayes was Jeff Cole, who began the day tied for 5th after an opening round of even-par 71. The Martindale member made the turn in +1, but made birdies on 12, 14 and 17 for an inward 33 for a round of 69. His total of 140 (-2) gave him a solo second finish.
Jordan Jones shot a second round 70 to finish in third at 141 (-1). Ricky Jones fell short in his bid for his record 7th Mid-Amateur title, finishing fourth at 142 (E) after a disappointing 77 on Saturday. Kirn rounded out the top 5 with a score of 143 (+1).
The shot of the day came from Chris Deroche, who holed his second shot on the par-5 14th from 163 yards for the first albatross of his life. This was the third albatross in MSGA competition all year, and oddly enough, longtime rules official Romeo Laberge was on site for all three hole outs.
In the tournament within the tournament, players not already exempt into the 2021 Maine Amateur Championship were vying for three spots in next year’s event from a high finish at Webhannet. Those spots were given to Cole, Jordan Jones, and Zach Golojuch, who earned a spot in next year’s Amateur at Kebo Valley with their fine play.