Hornberger, Paine Win Maine Junior Championship
CUMBERLAND – For the second straight day at the 2019 Maine Junior Championship players were tested as much by the heat and humidity as the golf course they played on. Despite the 90 degree weather, players went out on day two and played some wonderful golf in the hopes of winning the title of Maine Junior Champion. In the end, 18-year old Conner Paine of South China and 14-year old Mia Hornberger of North Turner emerged as the newly-crowned junior champions of the Pine Tree State.
Following an opening round 68 that left him only one clear of second place, Paine’s victory was far from secure over his nearest pursuers. However, he was able to get it going early in his round to put plenty of distance between himself and playing partners Thomas Higgins and Caleb Manuel. Paine parred the first two holes before going eagle-birdie on holes 3 and 4, which opened up the tournament and allowed him to play with a comfortable lead.
In the end he signed for a score of 71, which coupled with his opening round 68 for an impressive total of 139 (-5). Manuel finished as the runner-up in this year’s event, shooting rounds of 72-75—147. Finishing in third in the 16-18 boys flight were Andrew Klein and Cade Charron at 151.
The Junior Girls championship was claimed by Hornberger, who followed up her first round 79 with a 76 on day two. The 14-year old from North Turner had the best round among girls on both days to claim her first Junior Championship title. Her two-day total of 155 edged last year’s champion Rachel Smith by six strokes. Hornberger was steady all day long, making nothing worse than a bogey on any hole, which allowed her to cruise to the clubhouse with ease for the win.
Despite competing this week in the younger 13-15 girls flight, since she was competing from the same set of tees as the 16-18 girls flight, she was able to win both the overall title and her flight as well. This is the second straight year Hornberger has won the 13-15 Girls flight, having claimed that title at Brunswick GC last summer.
The 13-15 boys division also saw last year’s champion emerge victorious again, with Bennett Berg of Portland claiming the trophy in dominant fashion. Following his opening round 72, Berg carded 75 on day two. His two-day total of 147 won the flight by 12 strokes over Topsham’s Parker Bate, who shot 80-79—159.
The 12 & Under division was won by Yarmouth’s Sebastien Martinez, who won this title at his home course of Val Halla. Shooting rounds of 40-44—84 over two days on Val Halla’s back nine, Martinez won the flight by six strokes over runners-up Joseph Hansen and Michael Madden. This marks the second time Martinez has won the 12 & Under division, having claimed the title in 2017 as well.