BANGOR — After posting a second straight strong round, Scott Hawley of Shrewsbury, Mass., holds a two-stroke lead entering today’s final round of the 44th Hollywood Slots Greater Bangor Open golf tournament.
Hawley shot a 4-under-par 65 Friday at Bangor Municipal Golf Course for a two-day total of 129. Matt Saglio of Clearwater, Fla., who started the day tied for the lead with Hawley, shot a 67 and sits at 131.
Eric Egloff of Sandy Springs, Md., who won the 1995 GBO, recorded a second straight 66 for 132 and third place. Jesse Larson of Mendon, Vt., matched his opening-round 67 and is in fourth at 134, followed at 135 by Matt Torrance of East Lyme, Conn. Torrance turned in the day’s best round of 64.
The pro cut for today’s round was 145, while all of the amateurs advanced.
Hawley, Saglio and Egloff will play together in the final group starting at 10 a.m.
Hawley, a veteran of the Canadian Professional Golf Tour, said he knew he couldn’t stand on his opening-round laurels and keep his lead.
“There are a lot of good players here, and they’re all capable of shooting a low score,” said Hawley. “My mindset was [that] I have to shoot a low one again.”
He put that plan into immediate action by sinking a 15-foot putt for birdie on the first hole.
Hawley parred the next two, then two-putted the par-5 fourth hole for his second birdie. He had to make a 15-foot putt to save par on No. 6, parred 7 and did the same on 8 after just missing a birdie attempt.
“I really thought I made that putt,” said Hawley.
He knocked in a 20-footer for birdie on 11, then struggled to make par on the next three holes.
After a hard-earned par on 12, Hawley drove the green on 13 but three-putted from 50 feet.
“Then I got into tree trouble off the tee on 14,” said Hawley.
He had to punch a low shot under a branch but managed to save par.
“That stretch was a little shaky,” Hawley said.
He made an easy par on 15, then had to chip from behind the green and one-putt to par 16.
Hawley made his final birdie on 17 after hitting a wedge from 50 yards to about 5 feet.
“It slipped in the right side,” said Hawley of his putt.
He thought he had one more birdie on 18 after his approach shot stopped pin-high about 18 feet left of the hole. His putt broke gently toward the hole as it rolled up, but it straightened out just before getting to the hole and slipped by.
“I hit it exactly where I wanted,” said Hawley.
He accepted it.
“Not every good shot you hit is going to be rewarded,” said Hawley, “but if you keep hitting to good spots, good things are going to happen.”
Saglio, playing in the group behind Hawley, three-putted 18 to fall two behind.
He had matched Hawley with birdies on Nos. 1 and 4, but he bogeyed 5. He parred the next 10 holes, then birdied 16 and 17 to close the gap to one stroke for a few minutes.
Egloff, playing early in the day, shot a 1-under-par 34 on the front, then birdied 10, 13, 16 and 17 to get to 5 under for the day, but a lost ball on his drive on 18 led to a double bogey and dropped him three shots back.
Shawn Warren of Windham, who won the 2008 GBO, was two shots off the lead when the day started but made only one birdie all day, on No. 5, and bogeyed three of the four par 3s as well as Nos. 10 and 13.
“I actually hit the ball better today,” said Warren, who finished second in the State of Maine Championship on Wednesday. “I just couldn’t get any putts to drop.”
Hawley plans to approach today’s round the same as he did the first two.
“There’s no formula to win. It’s one of the things you have to deal with,” said Hawley, who was in a similar position in 2006.
He led by three strokes entering the final round after also posting a two-day total of 129, but Marc Lawless caught him on the last day and won on the first playoff hole.
“I’ll go through the same routine, the same plan,” he said. “I just want to keep it in perspective. It’s the same course, just a different day.”