AUBURN – Shawn Warren stood over his putt at the 18th hole. He had about 10 feet down the slope from behind the hole for eagle.

Atop the same hill, on the grassy swale adjacent to the flag pole next to the clubhouse, Todd Westfall stood, arms crossed as he watched.

Westfall had a rooting interest in this putt. His 1-over-par round of 73 had given him a share of the lead with first-round co-leader Mark Baldwin, and Warren’s putt would displace the pair at the top of the leaderboard.

More importantly, though, Warren is his buddy.

“We play five or six rounds together every time he comes up here now,” Warren said. “We’ve become good friends.”

Both golfers attended Marshall University in West Virginia, though at different times, and they’ve played in many of the same tournaments.

Now, the two will be paired together in today’s final round at the 89th Charlie’s Maine Open.

Warren missed his eagle putt, but still made birdie to shoot a 2-under-par 70, lowering his two-day total to 3-under 141, good for a one-shot lead over Westfall and Baldwin after two rounds.

“(The course) really did lay down,” Warren said. “I made three birdies in my first nine holes. I was actually a bit discouraged knowing that it was playing easy, and I had a great chance to get under par and I just didn’t do it.”

Baldwin and Westfall had rougher days Wednesday, despite a softer course. Baldwin’s group, the second on the course in the morning, ran into a few brief rain showers and some blustery winds before the course calmed down later in the morning.

“The weather was kind of a factor for us for about 13 or 14 holes,” Baldwin said.

Brian Medley of Albuquerque, N.M., fired the low round of the morning players with a 2-under-par 70 that featured two birdies and no bogeys. Medley sank putts on No. 2 and No. 6 to go to 2-under, and made 12 straight pars after that to remain there.

“After seeing the scores from last year, where even par won it, my goal was to come out here and shoot even par all three days,” Medley said.

Three other golfers joined Medley at 1-under 143, including host professional Bob Darling Jr., who also wrapped up the tournament-within-the tournament title as the low Maine senior professional.

“After shooting myself out of it after the first round last year, this is great,” Darling said. “That’s the whole thing about competition, I enjoy that. I’ll just keep grinding it out and see where it ends up.”

Low amateur Toby Spector was also in that group after a stellar 68, as was Gorham’s Jerry DiPhilippo.

Spector’s round was quickly overshadowed, though, by traveling-pro-turned-local-golfer Rich Parker, who fired a course-record 66 to move himself back into contention at even par 144 after a 78 on Tuesday.

“I played great today,” Parker said. “I hate to say that because I rarely do, but the reality is, I did it today.”

Spector is just two out of the overall lead, and is two ahead of defending champion Ricky Jones for the low amateur title.

Tee times for today’s final round begin at 7:30, with the final group going off at 10 a.m.


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