PORTLAND — Peter Kampmann went low.

The club professional out of Westchester County, New York (though, he’ll tell you, he’s from Connecticut) fired a slick 7-under-par 65 on Tuesday in the first round of the Charlie’s Portland Maine Open at Riverside Municipal Golf Course.

“I got off to a really hot start,” Kampmann, who played the back nine first, said. “I shot 31 on my first nine and I kind of just coasted in from there.”

He had a chance to savor his lead for all of three minutes.

Dustin Cone, originally from Vermont and now living in Florida, went lower.

Powered by a 6-under-par 30 on the front nine (Cone began the day on No. 1), he cruised to a 9-under 63 to take command of the tournament before the second wave of golfers had finished teeing off.

“I whiffed a couple putts coming in, too,” Cone admitted. “On 18, 17 and 16 coming in, I had six-footers.”

Cone birdied his first hole, and then went on a run starting on the par-4 fifth. He birdied six consecutive holes to get to 7-under.

“I also made some putts that I probably shouldn’t have, to be honest,” Cone said. “It all evened out. But it’s nice out here, a lot better than last year.”

In 2009, the first year the Maine State Golf Association combined the Portland Open and the Maine Open, golfers returned to Riverside in wet conditions. Even with casual water dotting the course, Jim Renner won the tourney at 14-under.

Cone is better than halfway to that number already as the course greeted golfers this year with lush, firm fairways and smooth, receptive greens.

“The course is in good shape and the greens are rolling well,” Cone said. “Of course I’m going to say that after a round like this though.”

Renner, meanwhile, had a so-so day. He followed three birdies in his first 13 holes with three bogeys on the way in to finish at even-par 72.

Mark Stevens of Concord, New Hampshire will join Kampmann and Cone in the final group Wednesday. Stevens fired a 65, the lowest round of the afternoon session.

Low Maine chapter pro honors, and the second-lowest round of the afternoon session, came from Boothbay’s Greg Sandell. The former Purpoodock assistant had three birdies and three bogeys on his first nine (he played the back first), and then fired off six consecutive birdies on Holes 2 through 8.

“I’ve never had six birdies in a row like that, that was great,” Sandell said. “I guess that’s the zone, maybe? I don’t know. I haven’t been there in a long time.

“That was my fourth competitive round this year, I played in three pro-ams and then this one, so this was fun. I got a couple of lucky breaks, and couple of shots that went through trees, but it was pretty good.”

Sandell almost made it seven in a row on his final hole, nearly chipping in from the left rough after pulling his approach there from an unfavorable spot off the tee.

“I pulled my 9-iron left of the green from a funky lie down there,” Sandell said.

Windham’s Shawn Warren, who now works at Falmouth Country Club, was the low Maine chapter pro early after finishing his first round with a 2-under 70.

“In a two-day tournament, you have to go low,” Warren said.

He’d just returned from a weekend trip to a wedding in Pennsylvania, and came back in time to work on the range.

“I thought I’d come out early and hit a few,” Warren said, “I guess I should have been on the putting green instead.”

Cape Arundel pro Sam Marzenell bettered Warren a bit later in the first round with a 4-under 68. Former champion Jerry DiPhilippo equaled Marzenell in the afternoon session.

Allan Menne of Poland Spring was the low Maine senior pro with a 2-under 70. Other Maine chapter professionals to make the general cut, which fell at 1-over 73, included Tim Desmarais (67), Jeremy Anderson (70), Jim Fairbanks (71), David Grygiel (72), John Hickson (72) and host professional Ron Bibeau (73).


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