BANGOR, Maine - Windham native Shawn Warren won the 42nd Hollywood Slots Greater Bangor Open golf tournament by a stroke Saturday to claim his first victory as a pro.
Warren, who now lives most of the year in Tampa, Fla., shot a 3-under-par 66 Saturday at Bangor Municipal Golf Course for a two-day total of 130 and a one-shot edge over Eric Egloff of Sandy Springs, Md. Egloff, the 1995 GBO champion, posted the day’ s best round, a 64, for a 131 total. The tournament was shortened to 36 holes when Thursday’ s opening round was canceled due to rain that made the course unplayable.
“It feels like the long days and hard work I have under my belt have finally paid off,” said the 23-year-old Warren, in his second year as a pro.
It’ s actually his second open tournament victory because he won the Maine Open in 2004, when he was still an amateur.
For this victory, though, Warren collected an $11,000 paycheck out of the total purse of $50,000.
Joe Cioe of Homosassa, Fla., who won in ‘ 98, birdied the last hole for a 66 and third-place finish of 133. He was followed by Michael Carbone of Brewster, Mass., at 68-134, and Mark Alizzeo of Shrewsbury, Mass., at 68-136.
Keith Decker of Martinsville, Va., was low amateur after shooting a 70 Saturday for 144, and Kerry Johnston of Indio, Calif., repeated as senior champion with a second straight 73 for 146.
Warren, the first-round leader by two strokes after an opening 64 on Friday, parred his first two holes and bogeyed his third (Nos. 10 through 12 as the nines were reversed for Saturday’ s final round).
“When I bogeyed 12, I played it conservatively, hitting to the middle of the green,” said Warren, who three-putted for his bogey.
He posted his first birdie on 13 and never bogeyed another.
“That [birdie] settled my nerves,” he said. “From there I started to hit the ball solid.”
And was never caught.
That’ s because Warren’ s challengers were having their own troubles.
Samoset Resort of Rockport pro Jeff Seavey, of Homosassa, Fla., bogeyed his first hole, and Billy Maguire of Kingston, R.I., playing in the last group with Warren and Seavey, triple-bogeyed it after hitting his opening drive out of bounds.
Seavey also bogeyed the next hole to fall five strokes behind and couldn’ t make up the difference.
Carbone, playing two groups in front of Warren, technically tied Warren at 4 under par when he birdied 13, but that only lasted until Warren made birdie there. Carbone parred out the front, but Warren added another birdie on 17 to make the turn at 6 under.
In fact, Carbone parred every hole on the back as well while Warren and Egloff picked up birdies on their 10th holes and started to pull away from the field.
Egloff, playing in the next-to-last group, could only pull within one, though, and no closer.
“I had my chances coming,” said Egloff. “I made a few putts and missed a few, but I was glad to throw a challenge at him.”
They both parred the next two holes and both birdied 13, the only par 5 on the course, as Warren maintained his two-stroke edge. Egloff cut that in half with a birdie on 14 while Warren just missed his birdie try.
They both parred out, but Warren had to make a big two-putt on 15 to preserve his lead.
“The big one for me was ,” he said. “I told Todd [Bacon, his caddie] this was a big putt.”
The pin was on the back left shelf of the 199-yard downhill par-3 and Warren left his tee shot on the far right, about 50 feet away.
He drilled his first putt, but it missed the cup and rolled well past.
“It was about 6 or 7 feet. It just caught the lip,” Warren said of the par-saving putt.
He didn’ t start playing it safe.
“I was trying to get to 10 [under],” he said. Although, he could sort of keep track of Egloff based on the leader boards that were used for the last three groups, he wanted to make sure to squelch any challenges.
At the last hole, he hit his approach shot to the middle of the green and two-putted for the par that clinched his victory.
“On 18, I played conservatively and lagged my [first] putt up there,” said Warren. “That’ s the only time I changed my plan.”
His mindset now is to keep riding the wave.
“These are the times when you’ ve really got to keep on playing, take advantage of playing well,” said Warren.
“This is the pinnacle,” he added. “Now I’ ve just got to keep on doing it.”