October 01, 2022

Warren fires course-record 65 13-time champ Plummer misses cut

BOOTHBAY – After two days of qualifying at Boothbay Country Club, the 86th Maine Amateur Golf Championship will be known as much for who didn’t make the cut as it is for those who did.

While Shawn Warren of Windham shot a course-record 6-under-par 65 Tuesday to top the qualifiers at even-par 142, 13-time champion Mark Plummer of Augusta did not advance to the match play portion of the tournament after shooting rounds of 77 on Monday and 79 Tuesday for a 156 total.

The cut came at 154. Only five players had under-par rounds, all of them on Tuesday.

After Warren, Jason Gall of Augusta was the No. 2 qualifier at 144 after a second straight 72.

Two-time defending champion Ricky Jones of Thomaston headed a group of six players at 148. Jones shot a 73 Tuesday to go with an opening 75.

Other eastern Maine golfers who advanced to today’s first round of match play included J.J. Frost of Brewer, whose 68 was the day’s second-best round, giving him a 150 total; Corey Poulin of Madison with a 72 for 150; Joe Alvarez of Bangor at 76 for 151; and Jeff Wass of Rockland at 72 for 153.

Asked how many times he had failed to make the Maine Amateur cut – which has been conducted at both medal play and match play, Plummer said, “This is the first time. I first played at Bangor in ’66 and I (had) made it every year since.

“I was 14, same as Ryan (Gay of Gardiner).”

Gay was one of two players who came in together with totals better than 156 that eliminated Plummer.

Plummer made no excuses for missing the cut.

“Everything was off,” he said with a chuckle.

For the 20-year-old Warren, winner of the Charlie’s Maine Open last year, everything was on, pretty much.

“I had a few birdies early and that got things going,” said Warren, who will be a junior at Marshall University in the fall.

Warren birdied the first hole on the short (a little more than 6,000 yards) but hilly course, then added two more on Nos. 8 and 9 to turn at 3-under 33.

“That relaxed me going into the back nine,” said Warren.

He added birdies on 11 and 13, three-putted 15 for a bogey, then closed with birdies on the last two holes.

“Yesterday (Monday), I had no birdies for 18 holes,” said Warren. “That’s the first time I can remember that happening.”

He has played the course before, including Maine State Golf Association weekly tournaments, but the course looks different this week because they’re mostly playing the back tees.

“It’s my first time from those tees and I didn’t know what to expect,” he said.

He did Tuesday and it showed. The previous record from the gold tees – the farthest back – was a 69, according to club staff members. From the blues, it was 66.

Warren has been low qualifier in the past but not able to get through the match play.

“Everybody knows I don’t like match play,” said Warren. “I just have to go out and play the course and not worry about the other guy until I have to.”

Warren really wants to win this title, too.

“It would eat me up if I never won this one,” he said.

Jones said the course, because of its lack of length and the number of doglegs, doesn’t set up the best for him.

“There’s only about four holes I can hit driver,” said Jones, who has also won the last two Whited Ford Paul Bunyan Amateurs. “That’s probably the most consistent club in my bag.”

Jones isn’t concerned yet.

“It’s kind of like poker,” he said. “As long as you have one chip left, you have a chance to win.”

Victors in today’s matches – in which No. 1 plays No. 32, No. 2 plays No. 31, and so on – move on to the round of 16 Thursday morning. Those eight winners square off in the quarterfinals Thursday afternoon.

The semifinals are Friday morning, with the championship Friday afternoon. All matches are scheduled for 18 holes.

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