OAKLAND — John Hayes IV isn’t ready to turn pro just yet despite winning his first Maine Amateur Championship on Thursday at Waterville Country Club. 

The 25-year-old said he still has much work to do on his game as well as his finances before making that decision, though turning pro is something he would like to do at some point in his career. 

“I’d like to turn pro, but financially it’s just not feasible right now,” Hayes said. “I’d like to get a sponsor. I still need to get much better at golf before I turn pro, but it’s definitely what I’m looking forward to in the future.” 

Hayes, who calls both Cape Elizabeth and Newport, R.I., home, played golf collegiately at both Towson (Md.) and the University of Colorado. He was a candidate for Colonial Athletic Association rookie of the year as a freshman, averaging 75.3 strokes per round with four top 30s and eight top 40s. 

His best round in college came during the fall semester of his sophomore year at Towson, when he shot 10-under to tie for sixth at the Austin Peay State’s F&M Bank Intercollegiate tournament. Hayes tied for ninth at 5-under in his first appearance with the Buffaloes at the Colorado-Simpson Invitational. 

While Hayes will remain at amateur status, he has friends that have gone the pro route. There’s much more to it than just showing up at tournaments and playing golf. 


“It’s a really tough lifestyle,” Hayes said. “Only less than half-percent would make it, but I have a lot of buddies doing it right now at the moment. Watching them, it’s a lot of money. It’s a pretty tough lifestyle. You’re always on the road.” 

Hayes said he’s looking for sponsors, targeting mostly friends have family that have the finances to make his dream a reality. As for the brand name sponsors, Hayes said it’s difficult to get their attention with so many golfers becoming pro straight out of college. 

“After school pretty much now every Division I golfer is turning pro, so it’s very clustered,” Hayes said. “A lot of people are turning pro. I wasn’t the top-ranked college player coming out, and they’re pretty much the only people getting attention coming out of school.” 

For now, Hayes will keep playing in tournaments to improve his game. He’s participating in the Rhode Island Amateur Championship next week as well as the U.S. Amateur Championship at Olympia Fields Country Club in Illinois in mid-August. 

If he feels like his game has improved and he has the resources to make it possible, Hayes will eventually turn pro. But that’s not his primary focus at the moment.

“I’m going to keep playing tournaments to see if I can get better in the next two years and decide from there,” Hayes said. 


Slattery cracks the top 10 

Andrew Slattery entered the final day of the tournament knowing it would be a long shot to defend his title.

In a way, that helped loosen the defending champion up a little bit. With nothing to lose, Slattery just played his game. That resulted in a 2-under 68, his best round of the tournament. He finished in the top 10 as well, placing eighth at 7-over. 

“Obviously I’m not going to win,” Slattery said. “My goal was to try and sneak into the top 10 somehow. I just went out there and did whatever I could. I had nothing to lose on the last day. If I made a bunch of bogeys, it’s not a big deal.” 

Slattery made just two bogeys in his final round — one on the par-5 third and another on the par-4 11th. He made four bogeys and a double-bogey in his opening round and three bogey and two double-bogeys Wednesday. 

There were no double-bogeys for Slattery on Thursday. While the double-bogeys on the first and 10th holes were in his mind on the tee, it didn’t let it affect him. 


“It was in the back of my mind on one to not hook it left, but I hit a decent drive and just missed the birdie putt,” Slattery said. “On 10 I hit a 3-wood instead of driver, made sure I didn’t do it again. But that stuff sticks with you, but you just have to step up and make a good swing.” 

Slattery finished the tournament with birdies on three of his final five holes, including 17 and 18. 

“Today was good,” Slattery said. “I was feeling really bad about everything but today was definitely a lift, especially finishing the last two holes birdie-birdie.” 

Jordan ends tournament with eagle 

Eagles were hard to come by at Waterville Country Club during the three-day tournament, with the course yielding just nine such occurrences. 

Eight came on the front nine, all of which were on par 5s. The only eagle of the tournament recorded on the back nine was also the only eagle on a par 4. It belonged to Minot native and Edward Little alum Curtis Jordan. 


Jordan ended his final round of 72 holing out from 44 yards, using a 58-degree pitching wedge. 

“It was pretty neat,” Jordan said. “On the tee shot the guys laughed because I swung really hard and grunted a little, so they called me Serena Williams. I just had a good yardage and picked a spot and caught it pretty solid. It fell in and there was a big roar, so it was pretty cool.” 

Jordan finished tied for 13th at 11-over. He shot 74 to open the tournament, followed by a 5-over 75 on Wednesday. 

His final shot will be what Jordan remembers the most from the week. 

“That was a great way to end a fun week, and it was cool with the gallery,” Jordan said. “That was exciting.” 

Waterville by the numbers 


Waterville Country Club did its best U.S. Open impression this week, as only a select view were able to play the Oakland course under par. Hayes (-9) and Mark Plummer (-4) made it look easy at times, but for most of the field, WCC presented quite the challenge. 

No. 6 played the most difficult in terms of scoring average. The 190-yard par-3 played at an average of 3.608, yielding 15 birdies to 119 bogeys, 29 double-bogeys and 10 triple-bogeys or worse. 

Another par-3 — hole 13 — produced the fewest birdies with 12. It also led the way with 145 bogeys.

The 325-yard par-4 seventh saw the most double-bogeys of any hole with 36 as well as the most triple-bogeys or worse with 10. 

The two par-5s were the two easiest in terms of scoring. Six eagles were scored on the third and two others on the ninth. 

In total, nine eagles, 506 birdies, 2,849 pars, 1,755 bogeys, 364 double-bogeys and 79 others were recorded. The average round for the tournament was a 7-over 77. 

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