McFarlane Wins New England Amateur at Portland CC
McFarlane Wins New England Amateur Championship on Home Soil
For immediate release: July 19, 2018
What a difference a week can make.
After notifying the Maine State Golf Association at last week’s Maine Amateur Championship at Belgrade Lakes that he had signed an incorrect scorecard, Reese McFarlane (Purpoodock Club) had no choice but to disqualify himself from the tournament. He was inside the cut line and poised to play in the final round, but went home to Cape Elizabeth a day earlier than planned due to his mishap at the scoring table.
He rebounded in the best way possible and came to this week’s New England Amateur Championship and beat an elite field at Portland CC for the biggest win of his career. On a day when scores were higher than the past two rounds due to steady winds coming off of Casco Bay, McFarlane played steady golf and hit clutch shots at important points on the back nine to get to the clubhouse with the lead.
In the end, his rounds of 65-69-72—206 (-4) left him two strokes clear of Drake Hull (VT) and as the worthy victor of the Harry B. McCracken, Jr. trophy, given annually to the victor of the New England Amateur. The Cape Elizabeth player turned 21 on the eve of this year's championship, and gave himself a birthday present he'll never forget.
McFarlane opened the day with a three stroke lead over Steven Dilisio (MA), who was coming in hot to the third round after birdieing the last three holes of his second round to move within reach of the leader. McFarlane birdied the first hole to extend the lead to four and settle into his round. In the end, he led the tournament wire-to-wire in a commanding performance at the classic Donald Ross course.
This was the 7th time Portland CC has hosted the New England Amateur, the most of any course in the championship’s 89 year history. Players were treated to an immaculate golf course thanks to Superintendent J.B. Christie, and tremendous hospitality from PGA Professional Dan Venezio and his staff. The club has a long history of supporting amateur golf, as evidenced by the fact that Portland will host the MSGA’s 100th Maine Amateur Championship next year.
With his win, McFarlane becomes only the fifth player from Maine to win the New England Amateur Championship. He joins John Levinson (1936, ’37, ’47), John Sale (1969), Mark Plummer (1979, ’94), and Sean Gorgone (1991) as the only Mainers to win the event, and the first to win on home soil since Plummer in 1994 at Falmouth CC. Like McFarlane, Levinson won the first of his three titles at Portland CC as well.
Last week’s winner of the Maine Amateur Championship, Jack Wyman (Portland CC), rallied after a rough first nine where he found himself five-over par. Wyman rallied with four late birdies to card 72 in his final round which left him at even par for the championship and tied for sixth overall. The strong showing from the Portland CC club champion all but locked up his second consecutive Dr. Leonardo Buck Player of the Year award, the annual accolade given by the MSGA to the top player in the state.