Walk-off Albatross Highlights ME Junior Championship
GORHAM – On another perfect day for golf at Gorham CC, seven state champions were crowned in their respective age brackets at the 2020 Maine Junior Championship. There were hole outs, aces, and stellar play from the entire field. When the dust settled, winning the overall Maine Junior titles were Caleb Manuel and Lindsay Cote.
The Boys 16-18 was a tight race the entire day between the overnight front-runners Armand Ouellette and Manuel. Manuel started the day one stroke back, and both players birdied the first to extend their lead. They exchanged blows all day, with the lead never shifting to more than two shots in either player’s favor. After Manuel bogeyed 16 and Ouellette bogeyed 17, the two came to the 18th hole tied at -6 for the tournament.
Both players hit solid tee shots on the reachable par-5 18th, and Ouellette played first, hitting a beautiful 3-wood to 15 feet. Manuel then stepped up and hit the shot of the tournament, if not the entire year in Maine. From 193 yards, he hit a towering 6-iron that never left the stick and rolled in like a putt for a walk-off albatross. Ouellette proceeded to roll in his eagle putt in front of the crowd for a round of 68 to finish the tournament at 134 (-8). Manuel ended up with a final round 66 for a two-day total of 133 (-9).
In the Girls 16-18 division, overnight leader Lindsay Cote birdied the first two holes and never looked back, taking the title by four strokes by day’s end. The 17-year-old from Newport fired 77 after an opening 72 for a two-day total of 149 (+7), beating recent Maine Women’s Amateur champion Ruby Haylock, who shot rounds of 77-76—153
The Girls 14-15 division was also won by the overnight leader, with Ruth Weeks improving on her opening 85 with a score of 77. Her two-round total of 162 was good enough to beat runner-up Jade Haylock by six strokes.
McKenna Castle claimed the title in the Girls 13 & Under division. Playing nine holes on Gorham’s back nine each day this week, Castle shot rounds of 48-59—107 to win.
The Boys 12-13 Division came down to the last hole with only one stroke separating Joe Hansen and Marc Twombly. Hansen managed to make a clutch birdie to finish off a round of 77 for a two-day score of 159. Twombly was runner-up with 162. The other shot heard around the course today came from 9-year-old Charlie Sands, who made a hole-in-one on Gorham’s 13th hole.
Eli Spaulding took home the crystal in the Boys 14-15 division in dominant fashion, winning his age group by six shots. With rounds of 77-74—151 he finished ahead of Owen Moore at 157.
The Boys 11 & Under division also came down to the last hole of the tournament. Drew Mertzel rolled in a ten foot breaking putt for a 41 on Gorham’s back nine. Paired with a 38 yesterday, his two-day total of 79 beat Carson Veilleux by one stroke.
The MSGA would like to thank host club Gorham CC for a wonderful two days of golf for the 84th playing of this great event. And thanks to all of the Maine juniors who teed it up this week and displayed their great talent.
ONLINE: Final Scores