OAKLAND — Brian Bilodeau watched Caleb Manuel line up his six foot putt on the 18th hole, and figured he’d better get ready for a playoff.

“I expect him to make it. One hundred percent. He chipped in on 17, you’ve got to think he’s going to birdie 18,” Bilodeau said.

Manuel’s putt caught the lip of the hole, though, and spun away, giving Bilodeau the win in the inaugural Maine Event tournament at Waterville Country Club, one stroke ahead of Manuel and two strokes ahead of Jeff Seavey, the pro at Samoset Resort, and Will Kannegieser.

“I hit a good putt. I thought it was in,” Manuel said.

John Gilmartin of Manchester entered the day with a one shot lead over Manuel after the first round at Augusta Country Club, but shot 75 at Waterville Thursday to finish tied for seventh place.

Bilodeau was even after the first round, and set himself up for victory with a strong start Thursday. Bilodeau birdied the first three holes, and a fourth birdie on nine gave him the lead at minus-4.


Brian Bilodeau tees off while competing in the final round of the Maine Event on Thursday at the Waterville Country Club. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel Buy this Photo


“It was a good start. I hit the ball great. I didn’t have any three putts. I kept it in play and hit a bunch of greens. I hit 13 greens in a row to start,” Bilodeau said.

A bogey on 16 gave a stroke back, but otherwise Bilodeau was even par on the back nine, including a good up and down to save par on 14.

“I hit my drive just in the rough, and it was a real bad lie. I hit in fat in the bunker and got up and down to save par, so that kind of kept the momentum going there,” Bilodeau said.

Bilodeau was two groups ahead of Manuel, and had to wait to see if his lead would hold up. Manuel was minus-1 heading to 17, where he chipped in to pull within one of the lead.

“I put myself in a good position. I made the chip on 17, which I knew I needed to. That was big, so at least I had a chance going to the last hole, which I didn’t think I was four holes out,” Manuel, the state junior champion and a senior at Mt. Ararat High School, said.


Seavey also was in position to win late, a stroke behind Bilodeau, until his tee shot on 17 fond the woods to the right of the fairway.

“I was trying to be aggressive. I knew Brian was at (minus) three, so I didn’t think the conservative approach was really going to do anything. I was trying to hit a low slider in there and I missed it by about 10 feet. If I get that 10 feet more to the right, I’ve got lob wedge in my hand,” Seavey said.

Manuel was three under par himself, until a double bogey on the par-3 13th hole. Manuel’s tee shot bounced and sailed the green.

Caleb Manuel, left, reacts after missing a putt for birdie on the final hole in the final round of the Maine Event on Thursday at the Waterville Country Club. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel Buy this Photo

“The pin’s kind of right, and I went just right of it. It bounced pretty hard and it bounced down to the edge of the woods. I had to get out, and it was a tough shot, and I didn’t get up and down from there,” Manuel said. I just didn’t make any putts all day. I was just struggling on the greens.”

The shot of the day belonged to Seavey who sank an albatross on his approach shot on the par-5 third hole. From approximately 150 yards from the pin, Seavey was looking to set up a chance at eagle.

“John (Gilmartin) hit a great shot in there, about five feet (from the pin), so I was thinking if I could just get something in there like that it’d be great. It hit, it landed, we were watching it roll towards the hole and it just disappeared. I turned to John and I go, ‘I think that went in,'” Seavey said. “But there wasn’t a sound from anybody. The cameramen didn’t make a move. There was Ruby (Haylock) and a bunch of other kids standing behind it. I was like ‘You guys should’ve seen it. You have better eyes than we do.'”

In 2018, Bilodeau was charged with nine felony crimes in federal court in 2018, including possession, manufacturing and trafficking of marijuana, and money laundering.

Last fall, he filed a motion to dismiss two charges citing a congressional act barring the U.S. Department of Justice from spending money on prosecutions for violation of federal drug laws against caregivers who are in compliance with their respective states’ medical marijuana laws. That motion was denied in December.

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