Not everyone who is in the golf business was able to watch last weekend’s Open Championship from Scotland’s Royal Troon, but those who did could not say enough good things about it.

Nick Glicos of Martindale said: “The weather was not so nice here for the final (July 17), so I was able to watch it on TV. It was one of the best final rounds in a major I have ever seen.”

The Martindale pro then made an astute observation about the duel between champion Henrik Stenson and runner-up Phil Mickelson.

“I think the fact that the greens were a little slower than what is done at a U.S Open, might have helped them to putt so well,” Glicos said with a reference to the nervous system of older pro golfers. “Both guys are in their 40s. It also might have helped Steve Stricker, 49, to get into the top 10.”

“I kept waiting for them to come back to earth on the back nine, but it did not happen,” he said. “It was really great for golf.”

Scott Mann, in his first year as head pro at Norway, called The Open “an amazing spectacle of golf.”

As a Phil Mickelson fan, he marveled at how well the 46-year-old played, and said: “Phil played out of his mind.” The irony of Mickelson’s outstanding tournament effort is that as the Stenson-Mickelson matchup is replayed as a professional golf classic, the outcome will never change, because the lefty always will finish in second place.

Greg Perry, general manager at Sunday River, also was able to take in the Open.

“It was unbelievable,” he said. “I’ve never seen two guys go toe-to-toe like that in a final group. It was a two-man tournament, and hey, Phil didn’t lose it. Henrik won it.”

Mickelson had every right to express “disappointment” at coming up short of the championship. His 17-under-par score for four rounds would have won 141 of the previous 144 Open Championships.

“Lefty” still has to be scratching his head and thinking that if he could tie a first-round record score of 63, and shoot a final round 65, how could he not come away with the Open title?

It should be noted that Jack Nicklaus, the all-time major winner with 18, also is the all-time leader in major runner-up finishes, with 19. In sole possession of second place now with 11 runner-up finishes is Mickelson, who has won five.

Because this outstanding Open golf, the entertainment bar has been set high for upcoming pro golf tournaments.

“I’m really looking forward to the Senior Open (this weekend) and the PGA next week,” Perry said.

If either of those events even comes close to the skill level, excitement and drama of The Open, golf fans will be in store for some fantastic television viewing.

*****

Maine’s Jesse Speirs had his best Web.com Tour outing of the season last weekend in Springfield, Ill., where he shot 70-68-65-68-271 to finish tied for 23rd in the Lincoln Land Charity Championship. That earned him $4,376.90, which boosted his season cash total to $10,657.

He moved up from 161st to 148th in the Web.com Tour rankings, which means he needs to makes cuts and money to retain his tour card for 2017. The tie for 23rd is his highest place of the season, in which he has made five of 13 cuts.

*****

As a preliminary to the Maine Junior Championship at Val Halla, there were Pro-Junior events on July 18.

In the two best balls of five division, Nick Glicos of Martindale teamed with Evan Glicos, Alex Robert, Christopher Castaldo and AJ Parisi to post a 71-69—140 (-4) for a third-place tie. Ron Bibeau of First Tee of Maine played with Kotoha Yamada, Caleb Manuel, Ryan Stimson and Ben McCallum for a 72-69—141 (-3), which tied them for sixth.

In the two best balls of four, Chad Hopkins of New Meadows played with Michael Glazier, Bryce Dufour, and Garret Kendall to record 47-60—117 (-27) which tied for second.

*****

Only two of the nine Mainers entered in the New England Amateur held at the Hartford (Conn.) Golf Club July 19-22 made the cut. Matt Hutchins of the Woodlands (69-73) and Sam Grindle of Island CC (74-69) got to the third and fourth rounds. Will Kannegieser and Andrew Slattery, both of Martindale, Reese McFarlane of Purpoodock, Jack Baumann of Webhannet, Dustin Freeman of the Ledges, Jack Wyman of Portland and Mike Caron of Sable Oaks failed to qualify for the final rounds.


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