YORK — It’s good to be under par in a round of golf.

In the first round of the Maine Amateur Championship on Tuesday, just making par was good.

Martindale Country Club member Joe Baker shot an early 2-under 68 and was the only player under par after day one of the three-day tournament at York Golf & Tennis Club.

Five other players played even par, and for the rest of the field par was just a dream.

Baker was part of the fourth group out, which teed off at 7:30 a.m. Taking advantage of cooler temperatures on a day in which the thermometer read into the 90s, Baker worked past a bogey on the first hole and shot three birdies on the front nine. He then played the back nine even (two birdies, two bogeys) to finish with the low round of the day.

Fellow Martindale club member Andrew Slattery, who won the Maine Am two years ago, said he wasn’t surprised that Baker played so well.


“Joe’s a good player. You just never know when he’s going to come out and shoot a low round, and I’m glad he did it today,” Slattery said. “I’m happy for him.”

Slattery wasn’t nearly as happy with his own opening round, which saw him him finish with a 4-over 74.

“I didn’t play well, at all,” Slattery said. “I putted the ball well, but everything else wasn’t good.”

The former champ hit a bad tee shot off the second hole and ended up with a triple bogey. He hit another bogey on No. 10 and made par on the other 16 holes.

“I just hit one bad tee ball,” Slattery said. “But other than that I didn’t really make any other mistakes.”

The course won the day against the 131-player field. But Slattery said it’s not an “overly difficult” course.


First-round contender Mike Doran, one of the five players who finished at even par, agreed.

“It is scoreable if you can get off the tee,” Doran said. “If you can hit it any ways off the tee, you can lob wedges into a lot of these greens. And if you’re hitting those well, you can have birdie putts.”

Doran had the fortune of playing in the first group, thanks to a victory in the Mid-Am Championship last year. He said the fresh greens and cooler temperatures might have helped him some.

“It’s good to not shoot yourself in the foot the first day, but it certainly helps to get off to a good start,” Doran said.

Many players did plenty of shooting themselves in the foot. The 16th hole was especially unforgiving to the field. The par-4 hole features a green that runs off to the front, and many shots proved as much.

“I know a lot of people had some horror stories there today,” Doran said of No. 16. “I got lucky walking away with four there. I probably didn’t deserve it.”


“It was a tough pin,” added Matt Hutchins (72), who missed a 3-foot birdie putt on the hole and settled for par.

Hutchins, a younger player who recently moved to Falmouth from Massachusetts, played in one of the better groups. Also in the group was James Frost Jr., from Val Halla Golf Course in Cumberland, who shot a 71.

“I had a really good group today, two really good guys,” said Hutchins, who also played with Presque Isle Country Club’s Ralph Michaud (75). “It’s made it really enjoyable.”

Slattery also played in a noteworthy group. The one-time champ got to play alongside 13-time champ Mark Plummer, who shot a 72 at the ripe, old age of 64.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Slattery said of playing with Plummer. “I wasn’t as nervous only because I’ve gotten to know Mark a lot over the past two, three, four years.”

The threesome of three-time champ Ricky Jones, Ashley Fifiel and Gavin Dugas all shot matching par 70s. Luke Ruffing, from Belgrade Lakes Golf Club, rounded out the quintet at even par.


Defending champ John Hayes IV, playing alongside Doran, shot a 72.

Another Martindale member, former Junior Am champ Will Kannegieser, shot a 3-over 73.

The threesomes will remain the same for Wednesday’s second round, but the groups will tee off at different times than they did on Tuesday. Slattery’s group will be the second one out, at 7:10 a.m. Baker’s group will step to the first tee four hours later.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.