Reese McFarlane of Purpoodock Club in Cape Elizabeth and his caddy, Ryan Collins, line up McFarlane’s putt on the 16th green at the New England Amateur golf tournament at Portland Country Club on Wednesday. McFarlane birdied the hole. (Jill Brady/Portland Press Herald)

FALMOUTH — A week after his own scoring mistake disqualified him from the Maine Amateur, Reese McFarlane is leading the 89th New England Amateur golf championship.

McFarlane shot a 5-under-par 65 in the first round of the weather-disrupted tournament Wednesday and then was 1-under through nine holes of his second round before play at Portland Country Club was stopped because of darkness.

At 6-under through 27 holes, the 21-year-old University of North Carolina-Wilmington golfer is two strokes ahead of his friend Patrick Frodigh, 23, of Westwood, Massachusetts. Frodigh, who just graduated from Elon College, is staying the week at McFarlane’s house in Cape Elizabeth. Frodigh is also through nine holes of his second round.

“I realize that there’s a lot of golf left and there are a lot of good players behind me. I don’t think 6-under is going to win it,” McFarlane said. “I’m going to have to keep making birdies, so that’s the game plan.”

Second-round scores won’t be official until the round has been completed and scorecards checked. McFarlane was among the golfers who never teed off Tuesday before the first round was halted because of severe weather.

McFarlane, of the Purpoodock Club, is among 67 golfers who will finish their second round Thursday morning. When they are done, the field will be cut to the low 40 scores and ties for the final round, expected to begin at 12:30 p.m.

Tied for third at 2-under with completed second rounds are three current state amateur champions: Maine winner Jack Wyman of South Freeport; Matt Paradis of Hooksett, New Hampshire; and Drake Hull of West Rutland, Vermont.

Three Martindale members teed off at the New England Amateur. Craig Chapman is at 6-over and Brian Bilodeau at 13-over. The third, Andrew Slattery, withdrew from the tournament.

Wyman, 27, a member at Portland C.C., finished his first round in the morning with six pars, then shot 2-under in the afternoon.

“I kept it together, so I’m still in it,” Wyman said. “I think (local knowledge) gives me an advantage around the greens, but Portland has always been a hard course for me. I just have never really lit it up here, so I’m pretty happy with how I played.”

Two Maine players in the top five is a rarity at the New England Amateur.

Only two players from Maine have won this tournament since it went to stroke play in 1971: Mark Plummer in 1979 and 1994 (at Portland C.C.) and Sean Gorgone in 1991.

Over the past six years, only nine Maine men have made the cut.

Ten players from Maine start Thursday’s play at or below the projected cut of 4-over. The group includes Jason Gall of Augusta, even par through 27 holes; Gavin Dugas, even through 22 holes; John Hayes IV of Portland, 2-over after two rounds; 66-year-old Plummer of Manchester, 3-over through 30 holes; Joe Walp of Portland, 2-over through 29 holes; Lance Bernier of Lincoln, 3-over through 27 holes; Drew Powell of Holden, 4-over after two rounds; and Marty McGuckin out of Webhannet, 4-over after two rounds.

After bogeying his last two holes in the first round, Hayes cut through the early afternoon wind coming off Casco Bay and shot 2-under for his second round.

“There was a lot of wind, but I don’t mind playing in the wind. You just have to hit it low,” Hayes said.

Defending champion Bobby Leopold of Coventry, Rhode Island, struggled to 73 in his second round and is in a four-way tie for sixth at 1-under. Leopold, 33, said he suffered a painful abdominal muscle pull on the seventh hole, and he was 4-over for his final 12 holes.

Hayes said he’s not surprised Maine’s contingent is doing better in 2018.

“We’ve got good players now that can compete,” Hayes said.

And McFarlane will make sure his scorecard is accurate. After shooting a first-round 77 at the Maine Amateur to fall out of contention, McFarlane signed an incorrect card following the second round.

“I signed for a bogey when I actually made a double (bogey),” McFarlane said.

He realized the mistake later that night and reported it prior to his third-round tee time.

“You can’t get too hung up on one bad tournament. You just have to keep working hard and know that good things will come.”

Reese McFarlane of Purpoodock Club in Cape Elizabeth follows through at the New England Amateur golf tournament at Portland Country Club on Wednesday. (Jill Brady/Portland Press Herald)Dave Bucci of Portland Country Club watches his shot from the second-hole bunker during the New England Amateur golf tournament at Portland Country Club on Wednesday. (Jill Brady/Portland Press Herald)Gavin Dugas of J.W. Parks reacts after his putt on the ninth green at the New England Amateur golf tournament at Portland Country Club on Wednesday. (Jill Brady/Portland Press Herald)Jason Gall of Portland Country Club follows through on the seventhth tee at the New England Amateur golf tournament at Portland Country Club. (Jill Brady/Portland Press Herald)


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