During the past week, an off-the-cuff poll was made of area golfers during the June 10 Camp Sunshine Golf Tournament at Point Sebago and the weekly Senior Tournament June 12 at Fairlawn.

The idea was to see who golfers are rooting for this weekend during the U.S. Open at the Pebble Beach Golf Links in Pebble Beach, Calif.

Bill Kennedy, Golf Columnist

Older folks generally are hoping that it is Tiger Woods battling Phil Mickelson for the championship, as they root for these two to be the final duo to walk down the 18th fairway today.  Both have been multiple winners of the Bing Crosby Pro-Am held annually at Pebble Beach, and Tiger captured the U.S. Open title there in 2000 (by a whopping 15 strokes). The common feeling is that both have tremendous “local knowledge” of the course  — and they do.

But here is the rub. Mickelson, having won the Pro-Am this year, never has won a U.S. Open crown, as a six-time runner-up, and that continues to be his professional golf bugaboo.  Woods has won the Open thrice, including the one at Pebble in 2000, but none recently.

From this vantage point, it appears that all of their Pebble Beach experience is not going to help them during a U.S. Open championship at that course, because it is set up differently than the Pro-Am. Check out the rough. And Woods’ finest moment on the course was 19 years ago, which is ancient history on the PGA Tour.

Who then might be walking down the 18th fairway as the leader/co-leader in the 2019 open later today?

Smart money could be placed on Brooks Koepka, who has won the last two Open titles. Consecutive Open championships have been taken by Ben Hogan, Ralph Guldahl, Bobby Jones, John McDermott and Willie Anderson, all prior to 1952 when the PGA Tour did not even closely resemble what it is today. Among them, only Anderson had a three-peat (1903-05). So, why would we think that Koepka can do it a third consecutive time in this era of golf superstars galore? It could happen, but it is not likely.

Remember, even the legendary Jack Nicklaus won the Open just four times, and never consecutively.

If you saw Rory McIlroy shoot 61 in the final round of the RBC Canadian Open June 9,  then you have a golfer who came into this U.S. Open red-hot. It’s just an opinion, but a tight finish with Koepka vs. McIlroy is more likely to be the story today than Woods vs. Mickelson.

Either of those would be great for the sport. Woods vs. Mickelson (or Woods vs. anyone)  would be fantastic for TV ratings. So, root for this to take place, but do not part with any of your hard-earned money in a wager. All of these scenarios are an extremely long shot,  which should not be confused with striking a golf ball.

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The Kannegiesers of Martindale have done it again. And in the process, they made the hardest format in golf — alternate shot — look easy.

Will Kannegieser is a junior at Williams College and a member of its golf team. His mother, Kristin, is a women’s tournament regular in Maine.

On June 9 at Fairlawn, they captured their second consecutive Maine State Golf Association mixed championship. They won it in 2018 at Cape Arundel, and this year they combined for a 7-under-par 65 to outdistance the field by six shots.

The only other area team in the tournament, Brian Bilodeau of Fairlawn and Debbie Murphy of Springbrook, combined for an 80, which got them 16th place.

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This week there is a Senior Four-Ball event at Augusta June 18, and a Maine Amateur Qualifier June 20 at Poland Spring with the weekend event June 21-22 at Old Marsh.

For the women, there is a regular gross and net June 18 at Sunday River and the TriState championship June 18-19 at Brunswick.


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