Oxford native and Martindale Country Club member Joe Baker seized hold of the first-round lead after teeing off at 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday. That was the same time that three-time champion Ricky Jones teed off in the second round Wednesday, and the same success followed.

Jones, a native of Thomaston, shot a 2-under 68 a day after shooting even par to take a one-shot lead over Baker, who finished his second round with a 1-over 71 at York Golf & Tennis Club. Falmouth’s Matt Hutchins shot a 3-under 67 — the best round of the tournament so far — to grab a share of second with Baker.

“I made some putts today,” Jones said. “The greens were a little bit faster this morning because the grass grows out in the afternoon. They seemed to be a good speed for me.”

Jones got off to a quick start, birdieing the first and third holes. He then played even the rest of the day, matching four more birdies with four bogeys.

“When I started the day, I thought like I’d wanted to be around 67,” Jones said. “I was almost there.”

Hutchins teed off an hour after Jones and made five birdies.


“Both of them had good numbers,” Baker said of Jones and Hutchins. “They went out early, too.”

Baker didn’t tee off until 11:10 a.m. and had to deal with firmer greens than did his fellow contenders. He also said he had to deal with the wind.

“It was a little bit more windy today in the afternoon,” Baker said. “I don’t know what it was in the morning, but the wind definitely picked up and played a factor towards the end.”

Baker got off to the start he wanted, making par on each of the first five holes. He birdied No. 6 and bogeyed No. 7 to stay even, then birdied the 13th hole and put himself at 1-under for the day heading to the final two holes — holes that he called “easy.”

He didn’t make them look easy.

A tee shot off the green on the par-3 17th turned into one bogey, and a three-putt on the par-4 18th became another, moving Baker from one shot ahead of Jones to one shot behind him.


“It was just lack of focus right there at the end,” Baker said. “That was the first three-putt of the week right there, on the last hole. It wasn’t really the way I wanted to finish, but tomorrow’s another day.”

The top three players will all tee off together in Thursday’s final round at 9:40 a.m.

“I’m in the last group, so anything can happen,” Baker said. “So I got to continue to hit the ball good, make a few more putts.”

Baker’s fellow Martindale member, Will Kannegieser of Minot, had an admittedly good day putting the ball. Kannegieser shot a 2-over 72 for the day and sits at 5-over for the tournament.

“I feel like I’m putting well. So it’s been good that when I put myself close to the hole I have confidence I can make it,” Kannegieser said. “I just got to clean up the ball-striking and just get going tomorrow.”

Getting the ball to the green posed a problem for Kannegieser on the headache-inducing 16th hole. His tee shot was in a good spot, but the approach went on the wrong side of a tree, and Kannegieser settled for a double-bogey to drop him from even par.


“The closing holes here are kind of tough, between 14 and 16,” said Kannegieser, who also bogeyed the 14th. “I’ve been playing really well, and kind of just giving shots back at the end, so it leaves a bittersweet taste.”

Kannegieser said he was “not particularly” happy with his round.

“I’m not playing bad, I don’t think I’m out of it,” he said. “But I’ll just have to play well tomorrow and hope people come back to me have a chance.”

Some would-be contenders had worse days than Kannegieser. Martindale’s Andrew Slattery matched his first-round 74 with another in the second round. A quadruple-bogey on the 16th made its mark on an otherwise solid round.

Slattery’s groupmate, 13-time champ Mark Plummer, faded for a 7-over 77 for the day, and sits 9-over for the tournament. Reese McFarlane, from Purpoodock Club in Cape Elizabeth, shot a 10-over 80 after shooting just 1-over in the first round. Each of those three survived the cut, which ended up being at 11-over 151. The final round will feature 41 golfers out of an starting field of 131.

All three of those players went out in the first two groups, proving that the course could be forgiving at any time of the day.


“You just got to stay in the right spots,” Jones said. “It can change, definitely, just by the pin placements.”

The second-to-last group for the final round features Gavin Dugas, who sits at even par for the tournament and played in Jones’ group, Baker’s groupmate Kyle Alexander (3-over), and York Golf & Tennis Club member Judd Parsons, who played an even-par second round and sits at 2-over.

“It’s anyone’s game tomorrow,” Baker said. “We’ll see what happens.”


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