It could very well be the best Maine State Golf Association tournament score ever shot at the Fairlawn Golf & Country Club, but it is not being considered a record.
Reese McFarlane of Purpoodock carded a 29-31—60 June 26 during an MSGA Weekend Tour event at Fairlawn. According to Randy Hodsdon, the MSGA tournament director, and Maine’s foremost official on rules and history, that does not go down as a record, which remains at 65 shot by PGA Tour pro Rex Caldwell in the 1977 Maine State Open.
“McFarlane played from the gold tees, and Caldwell was playing from the tips,” Hodsdon said. “Because of that difference, it can go down as the best round ever shot at Fairlawn, but it is not an MSGA record. It is the lowest score I’ve ever seen in an MSGA event.”
A rising junior at UNC-Wilmington, McFarlane said he understands the difference. But to prove that the 60 was no fluke, McFarlane scored 64 on June 1, in an MSGA Weekend Tour event at Webhannet. So, he is swinging some hot sticks. His previous best score was 65 last year at Purpoodock.
At Fairlawn, he hit all four par-5 greens in two shots, which for the left-handed golfer resulted in three birdies and an eagle.
As a youngster, McFarlane was a prominent junior player in Maine, winning five age-group championships. He went to Cape Elizabeth High School, where he played four years on the golf, swim and lacrosse teams. He said during the high school years he struggled with his golf game mostly off the tee. Apparently, he had great control of his driver as a junior player with a small body. When he got to high school, he had a growth spirt.
“It took me a few years to regain control of my tee shots,” he said.
McFarlane will continue to play MSGA Weekend Tour events, plus the Maine and New England Amateur championships, before returning to UNC-Wilmington early in August. He was the No. 3 golfer there during the past season, as his team finished eighth in the NCAA tournament regional championship.
Hodsdon, whose memory is excellent, recalled that PGA Tour pro Rex Caldwell, the person who holds the official lowest MSGA Open score, had a unique 1983 PGA Tour season.
“In the Bob Hope Desert Classic and the Phoenix Open that year,” Hodsdon said, “he made 30-foot putts on the 18th holes to force playoffs. He then lost both playoffs, but it made for interesting viewing on TV.”
The MSGA has an active upcoming week, starting today with its mixed championship at Cape Arundel. On June 12 there will be women’s events at Brunswick and Cape Neddick, along with a senior four-ball at Purpoodock. A Maine Amateur qualifier is June 14 at Biddeford-Saco, and the Weekend Tour is June 15 and 16 at Natanis.