MANCHESTER — Mark Plummer nearly shot his age on his home course at Augusta Country Club earlier this summer.

The 63-year-old missed a birdie putt on No. 18 and settled for a 6-under 64.

That score would have put him in the clubhouse lead Monday afternoon, but the Charlie’s Maine Open is a different animal than a league night or a leisurely Sunday foursome.

Plummer, the 13-time Maine Amateur champion who finished second to John Hayes IV in that event at Waterville earlier this month, settled for even-par 70 and wasn’t complaining.

“It played long for me,” Plummer said. “We weren’t getting much roll, and we were playing the back tees, which I don’t do when I play here. It’s a little longer than I’m used to out here.”

Just as he did in the final round of the Maine Am, Plummer birdied the first hole, chipping it home.

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He followed that with a string of four consecutive pars prior to his lone bogey of the front nine.

Plummer fell to 2-over with bogeys at 10 and 13 before rolling in consecutive putts at 14 and 15 to level his card.

“Even par. The way I played that’s a pretty good score,” Plummer said. “I didn’t hit the ball very good today, but I scrambled, made a few good pars. I was happy with a 70 today with the way I hit it.”

No player in the field can rival Plummer’s familiarity with Augusta, although it hasn’t helped him much since the Maine Open moved here full-time in 2012.

Players slightly more than one-third his age routinely drive the ball 300 yards and hit short wedges into the greens.

“You couldn’t have enough experience to balance out the length differential,” Plummer said with a wry smile. “It mitigates it, but it doesn’t balance it out.”

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Plummer didn’t expect Brian Agee’s 64 to hold up for the lead when his round was complete, either, although it did.

There was nothing punitive about the course, he said.

“It was set up I thought pretty easy today. Pins right in the middle of the greens. I thought they set it up very fairly and not too difficult,” Plummer said. “They’ll probably toughen it up a little bit for (Tuesday). I was kind of surprised the pins were in fairly easy areas to get at today. There doesn’t seem to be any wind. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a 62 or 63 out there.”

Tourists earn bragging rights

Local knowledge didn’t seem to help most of the players with neighboring Zip codes or years of tournament experience at Augusta.

Plummer’s 70 was the low score among entrants who might be considered hometown favorites. Luke Ruffing, also of Manchester but playing out of Belgrade Lakes, had four birdies and five bogeys.

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Ryan Gay of Pittston rebounded from double bogeys at 7 and 9, sinking birdies at four of the final seven holes to join Ruffing at 71.

“I was able to turn a terrible round into a salvageable one,” Gay said.

The news was not substantially better for tri-county players.

Minot native Curt Jordan broke par with 69.

Will Kannegeiser and Andrew Slattery of Minot shot 72 and 73, respectively. Craig Chapman of Auburn was at 72, with Brian Bilodeau, also of Auburn, at 73. Chris Cloutier of Lisbon carded three birdies on the back nine to save 74. Roger Williams of Turner crafted a 77.

Mixed results for champions

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Eight past Maine Open winners are in the field.

Shawn Warren (2004) and defending champion Andrew Mason have the best chance to the hoist the crystal again. Each shot 67.

Michael Carbone (2011) and Kirk Hanefeld (2003, 2005) are at 70. John Hickson (2008) of Topsham shot 73.

Don Robertson (1981) made the annual trip from Irving, Texas, pay off with a 70. Jerry DiPhilippo (1995) of Gorham stands at 1-over 71. Ricky Jones (2006) of Thomaston, the most recent amateur winner, settled for 72.

Good golf, good cause

Williams and Gay joined Jason MacDonald and Steve Shuman of Charlie’s as the low-net foursome in Sunday’s pro-am. They took top honors with a 59.

Jon McLean was low pro with 66, with Jason Gall was low amateur at 70.

The annual kickoff event benefits the MSGA scholarship fund, which has raised $1.3 million for Maine students in its 65-year history.

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