AUBURN, Maine — The feeling that overcame Ken Daigle was part surprise, part relief.

What got him there was all skill.

Daigle, who has finished in the money more than a half dozen times at major Maine mini golf events, aced the first playoff hole Sunday to win the 2021 Tabers Fall Classic presented by Maine Mini Golf Tour, his first tour title.

Daigle’s ace on the first hole dashed title hopes of Dan Brochu and Nathan Fournier, both of whom carded 2s on the first playoff hole and continued on to Hole 2. Brochu then pulled out an ace of his own on the second playoff hole to earn second place.

Fournier, the leader by three through two rounds, placed third.

The Tabers Fall Classic, sponsored in part by Little Joe’s, South of the Border, Fontaine Family Team, Lost Valley and Craft Brew Underground, was the final event on the 2021 Maine Mini Golf Tour calendar, which began with a snow-covered Winter Classic in January and included the Spring Fling, and weekly leagues throughout the summer and fall.

Tabers also hosts the annual Maine Mini Golf Open each August.

Daigle, who has played in most of the tour’s events, and also in a half dozen Maine Mini Golf Open events at Tabers, has a history of close calls. Sunday, he finally added a first-place trophy to the case. And he did it coming from behind.

Daigle posted identical rounds of 43 in his first two trips around the 18-hole layout at Tabers, and identical front- and back-nine splits of 21-22, as well.

Meanwhile, the first round was all Fournier, who shot a scintillating 36 to open the tourney, carding one ace and one 3, with the rest deuces. Even with a bobble in the second round to shoot a 46, Fournier hit the break with an 82, three shots better than Brochu and Justin Pelletier, who had 85s. Daigle and league regular Jordy Knoren started the final round four back at 86, while Cody Dolloff and Dennis Gagnon chased the lead from five back with two-round totals of 87.

Fournier came back to the field on the front nine of his final round, posting a 24. Pelletier gained a pair on him with a 22, and Brochu and Daigle both caught him with a 21 and 20, respectively.

Daigle recovered from a 4 on the 10th hole to post a 21 on the back nine. Fournier also recovered to post an identical 21, and Brochu also matched him, setting up a three-way playoff.

Pelletier faded with a run of 3s to open the final nine, opening the door for Richard Patrie and Dolloff to earn the final two money spots. Patrie, playing from four groups back, carded the second-best 18-hole round of the day with a 38 to earn fourth position, while Dolloff closed with a 43 to finish fifth.

Mike Davis earned the cash prize for most holes in one on the day (four); Fournier cashed in with the prizes for lowest single round (36), and also as the leader through two rounds; Brochu earned a prize as the lowest-finishing 2021 league regular; Felicia Greenleaf (47-48-41 — 136) was the best female finisher; and the final prize was the consolation prize for the highest score of the day, awarded to Carlin Lungu.

Plans for a second Winter Classic tournament are being discussed, and Maine Mini Golf Tour will post all information via its social media sites when the time arrives. For more information on Maine Mini Golf Tour, to become a sponsor or to inquire about future events, email [email protected]

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