Virginia’s Ted Brown, Connecticut’s Jason Thresher and Maryland’s Joshua Eure each shot 4-under 66s on the par-70 Augusta Country Club course to give the trio a one-shot lead over five other players after the first day of the two-day, 36-hole tournament.

All three players came from the second wave of tee times, which started at noon. Brown was the first to tee off, at 12:50 p.m., then Thresher 10 minutes later, and Eure a half-hour after that.

The five players who are a stroke back came from the first wave, and by the time all of the players from that wave came in the leaderboard was crowded.

Many of the 11 players two shots back finished early, and seven more players shot 1-under 69s to put themselves within three shots of the lead heading into Tuesday’s final round.

For Eure, who played in the third-to-last group of the day, Monday’s first round turned out to be a preview of what he’ll experience playing in the final group in the final round.

“That’s obviously the goal, is to play late afternoon on the last day,” said Eure, from Crofton, Md.

The final threesome will tee off at 1:40 p.m. on Tuesday.

The trio arrived at 66 strokes after 18 holes in three different ways.

Brown played bogey free, with four birdies through the first four holes and pars the rest of the way.

Thresher, from West Suffield, Conn., started his round with a bogey on the 10th and double-bogeyed the seventh. In between, he birdied seven holes, including three straight from the 17th through the first.

Eure nearly finished his round with sole possession of the lead, but bogeyed the 18th to settle for a three-way tie.

“I bogeyed 18, so a little bit of a sour taste,” Eure said. “And I missed like a 7-footer on 17 for birdie, so a couple shots left out there, but overall it’s a pretty good day.”

Like Eure, Brown said the key to his round was to keep the ball in the fairway. That gave Brown plenty of shots with his wedge, which he said is an area of his game at which he usually thrives. But that wasn’t necessarily the case Monday.

“Shot 4-under, feel like I left a bunch out there,” said Brown, from Glen Allen, Va. “So it’s always good when that’s the feeling.

“I hit in play pretty much every hole. If you do that, you’re going to have a lot of wedge (shots). I think there was only one hole that I didn’t have a wedge in, other than par-3s. You do that, you’re going to have a lot of looks.”

Defending champion Matt Campbell was less enthusiastic about his round, but he still heads into Tuesday just two shots back after posting a 2-under 68.

“Struggled, made back-to-back bogeys on seven and eight, and I just didn’t really get it around,” said Campbell, from Clifton Park, N.Y. “But the same as what I shot first round last year.”

Campbell said he hasn’t been playing as well this summer as he did last year, when he won the Maine Open for his first career win, then added the Tupper Lake Open in New York to his mantle just a few weeks later.

A groupmate of Campbell’s, Falmouth resident Matt Hutchins, is coming off a win in the Maine Amateur two weeks ago. The 19-year-old got off to a fast start, shooting 2-under through nine holes, but finished at 2-over 72.

“I just made bogeys. I made four bogeys, and it happens,” Hutchins said. “It’s just golf. Everyone plays like crap some days. Everyone doesn’t have their best stuff some days.”

The third member of the tournament’s opening group had the best round of the three: Jeff Martin, of Warwick, R.I., was one of the five players at 3-under.

“The two guys I played with played pretty well,” Hutchins said. “It was a good time playing with them.”

Joining Martin with 67s were former Maine Open champ Shawn Warren, from Cape Elizabeth, and Damariscotta’s Malcolm Oliver, as well as out-of-staters Colin Brennan (Methuen, Mass.) and Spencer Mellon (Oakmont, Pa.).

Campbell was joined at 2-under by another former Maine Open champ, Thomaston’s Ricky Jones.

It was a tougher day for some local players, but one put himself in position for a good finish Tuesday. Brian Bilodeau, of Auburn, played 1-under on the back nine to finish at 2-over 72, tied for 46th.

“I played really good out back,” Bilodeau said. “I was just hitting the ball pretty bad out front, short-siding myself, so getting up-and-down was impossible. Then trying to figure out the swing, and I hit every green out back. Missed a couple makeable birdie putts, but other than that was pretty steady.

“I think I can bring that into tomorrow and try to make a couple more putts. Make a couple birdies, shoot two- or three-under tomorrow, and move into the top 10, I’d be pretty happy with that.”

Bilodeau was one shot ahead of 1995 champ Jerry DiPhilippo, who is the head pro at Fox Ridge Golf Club in Auburn. Like Bilodeau, DiPhilippo was better on the back nine than the front, birdieing twice to finish 3-over.

Minot’s Will Kannegieser was one shot back from there, shooting a 4-over 74 to just make the cut for amateurs.

All those players will be chasing the scores put up by Brown, Thresher and Eure. And they’ll all be done by the time those three make it to the 18th green, where one of them may be putting for the win.

“It feels good,” Eure said of being in the lead. “I feel like I can still play better. So we’ll see what I can do tomorrow.”

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