At the Maine State Golf Association, there is excitement following the announcement that the Korn Ferry Tour has scheduled an event (Live + Work in Maine Open) next June 8-14 at the Falmouth Country Club.

Bill Kennedy, Golf Columnist Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

The tour will be in partnership with Shamrock Sports & Entertainment of Portland. Falmouth has a five-year contract, and the purse annually will be $600,000.

“This is very exciting news,” said Mike Doran, the MSGA’s Director of Communications and Course Ratings. “A week in June is pretty cool.”

No pun intended by Doran’s remark, but all Maine golf fans should want June of 2020 to be a much better weather month than June of 2019, which was “cool” and wet.

Randy Hodsdon, MSGA Director of Rules and Competition, said: “I was surprised, but this comes at a good time.” The MSGA will attempt to taper its weekly tournament schedule so that there are no conflicts.

Questions about this have arisen.

• Can Shawn Warren, Maine’s best professional player, receive an exemption to get into this 156-player field? Or will he be required to get there through a Monday qualifier?

• Will this event bring back memories of the Exotics Tour, which had events at Falmouth when it was held there in 2013 and 2014? It may be recalled that Warren was the leading money-winner on that tour.

• The Woodlands was the site of Hogan Tour events from 1990-93, which was the name of the Korn Ferry Tour then. Reportedly, the Woodlands turned down the opportunity to be the site of this event. Why was the Woodlands not interested?

• The fact that the Korn Ferry Tour is the equivalent of Triple-A baseball means that some of the players who come to Maine eventually will play on the PGA Tour. Perhaps a few of them will become PGA Tour stars?

Adding some Maine flavor to this tournament is the fact that the Korn Ferry Tour’s president, Alex Baldwin, attended Bates College.

Falmouth, which also was once host to a celebrity golf event called The Pepsi Skins Challenge, certainly is an outstanding place to watch a golf tournament. Hopefully Maine golf fans will turn out in great numbers and enjoy watching quality golf.

Someone once said that the Korn Ferry Tour, then known as the Nike Tour, was second only to the PGA Tour in terms of quality play top to bottom. He acknowledged that the European Tour has more stars at its top, but that the quality play at the bottom of that tour is inferior to Korn Ferry.

That made for interesting conversation in the clubhouse.

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The MSGA tournament schedule heats up this week, starting with the Senior Amateur Sept. 10-11 at York, along with a Sept. 12 Mid-Week Tour event at Prouts Neck, and the Weekend Tour Sept. 13-14 at Dutch Elm. Also Sept. 13-14 is when the Tri-states clash between Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine is being held at Sunday River. The women will play two gross & net tournaments Sept. 10 at Val Halla and Poland Spring.

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