AUBURN – They laughed together over good bounces and solid shots. They consoled each other over poor decisions and missed putts.

But when the sun started its descent beyond the trees at the west end of Fox Ridge Golf Club on Thursday, only one of Todd Westfall and Shawn Warren could be the 89th Charlie’s Maine Open champion.

In a reversal of the 2004 Maine Open at Riverside Municipal Golf Course in Portland, Westfall outplayed Warren on the back nine Thursday to win his first Maine Open crown with a three-day total of 4-under-par 212.

“(The Open in 2004) is always in the back of my mind, yeah,” Westfall said through his laughter. “My caddie told me, he said, ‘You owe Shawn, go get him today.'”

On the back nine, Westfall made his move. Warren hit his tee ball long into the fescue on the par-3 12th hole and made bogey. Westfall also made bogey, but on the next hole, he recovered, sinking a putt from the fringe for a much-needed birdie to get back to 3-under for the tournament. On the 14th, he stuck his 200-yard tee shot 10 feet from the pin and made par, and then he chipped in with a hybrid club on the 15th to get to 4-under.

“I knew I needed to make one sometime,” Westfall said. “Then I made the shot on fifteen with the hybrid. That’s a shot I’ve been working on lately.”

Warren, meanwhile, went the other way. He three-putted an eagle attempt at the 13th and settled for par. He took a bogey on the par-3 14th, and another on the 15th.

“Those were all shots where I was trying to be too aggressive,” Warren said. “It was just a train wreck there with the bogies and stuff, and after three-putting that par-5.”

A birdie at the 16th gave Warren hope, but as he pressed he sent his drive on the 17th hole into the hazard. Westfall stuck a wedge two inches from the pin on that same 17th hole and got to 5-under.

“I got a little cushion there to play eighteen,” Westfall said.

Westfall finished his round with a three-putt bogey on the final hole, while Warren finished alone in fifth at 2-under 214.

In the groups ahead of the final three, several players tried to make a charge during the day. Defending champion Ricky Jones fired a 3-under-par 33 on the front nine to pull to within two of Warren, who at the time was leading at 4-under for the tournament. Jones backed up on the back, though.

“I like the (front) better than I like this nine,” Jones said.

Last year, with the tournament plying the nines in proper order, Jones rallied on his better side to win on the final day.

For Toby Spector, it was the same. He got to 3-under for the tournament after a stellar front nine, and he, too backed up on the back.

Rich Parker of Lebanon, N.H. and Jerry DiPhilippo of Gorham stumbled a bit on the 14th hole – like so many gofers did all week – but recovered to tie for second place at 3-under 213 with Mark Baldwin of Laconia, N.H., who played his final round with Westfall and Warren.

“I just hit a solid seven iron and I flushed it and hit it too long (on the 14th),” DiPhilippo said. “It was in the hazard, and part of it was in the water.”

Host pro Bob Darling Jr. tied for sixth at even par 216 with Jeff Martin and Spector, the low amateur by one over Jones.


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