AUBURN – They could have been lower.

From leader Shawn Warren, who crafted a neat, 2-under-par 70, to Rich Parker, who set a new Fox Ridge course record with a bogey-free, 6-under-par 66, to first-round co-leaders Todd Westfall and Mark Baldwin, who both shot 73, almost every golfer who made the cut for today’s final round of the 89th Charlie’s Maine Open felt the scores they shot could have been better.

“It was perfect scoring conditions,” Westfall said. “Maybe I pressed a little too hard.”

“I couldn’t make a putt at all coming down the stretch,” admitted low amateur Toby Spector, who fired a 68 Wednesday.

And yes, even Parker, who rebounded from shooting 78 Tuesday with a 66 Wednesday.

“I had a few putts lip out on me, too,” Parker said. “It was unreal. The conditions were ideal.”

After a blustery Day 1 at Fox Ridge Golf Club, and after an early bout of wind on Day 2, the conditions finally allowed the players to display their skills.

Perhaps the conditions were even a bit too good. The greens, which an early morning rain left receptive and softer-than-normal, begged the players to throw balls at the pins like darts. The still air sat still, waiting for players to crack the silence with the ping of their metal drivers.

And the golfers tried to oblige, perhaps a bit too often.

“It was out there,” said Rob Corcoran, who followed a 72 with a 76. “It was too tempting.”

While a few scores – Parker’s 66 and Spector’s 68 – challenged records, most of the top players kept an even pace to their rounds. Slow and steady was the key, and had a bevy of players near the top, ready to make a run at the title today – weather or not.


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