CARRABASSETT VALLEY — The Sugarloaf Golf Club will play host to Maine’s top professional and amateur golfers as they compete for $10,000 in cash, and ultimate bragging rights as the state’s top golfer when the two-round 2010 State of Maine Championship begins today.
The annual championship matches up Maine’s top PGA professionals and amateur golfers. All Maine residents are eligible to compete in the amateur category, while professionals must be a member of the Maine Chapter of the New England PGA to qualify for the professional category. Nearly 100 golfers are expected to compete.
Sugarloaf has hosted the event for the past six years and 14 out of the last 16 years. The course has proven to be a challenge for even the best players, rewarding good shots while punishing poor ones.
“The State of Maine Championship is unlike any other tournament in the state. It’s the only event of the year in which just Maine professionals and Maine amateurs can compete against one another,” said Tony Decker, executive director of the NEPGA’s Maine Chapter, in a press release. “The fact that the championship is held at Sugarloaf, arguably one of Maine’s best golf courses, only adds to the quality of the tournament. The golf course allows us the opportunity to create a fair yet challenging set-up.”
Among this year’s competitors will be last year’s winner and two-time tournament champion Mike Worroll from Purpoodock Golf Club in Cape Elizabeth, five-time champion Bob Darling of Fox Ridge in Auburn, and 2007 champion John Hickson of Dick’s Sporting Goods. Nick Glicos of Martindale Country Club in Auburn, Ben Morey of Spring Meadows I Gray, and Ron Bibeau of Riverside Golf Course in Portland, currently the top three golfers in the Maine NEPGA Player of the Year point standings, will also compete in this year’s tournament.
“Sugarloaf is a challenging course that presents a true test for the state’s best golfers,” said Sugarloaf head professional Steve Neizgoda, who will be competing in his first State of Maine Championship this year. “And when you have the kind of challenge that Sugarloaf presents, you can be assured that the best player is going to win. It’s similar to a U.S. Open course in that regard. At the end of the day there’s no question who the top golfer is.”