BANGOR — A double record-setting victory in the 44th Hollywood Slots Greater Bangor Open golf tournament is what Scott Hawley of Shrewsbury, Mass., would like to build a career on.
Hawley cruised to a 4-under-par 65 Saturday at Bangor Municipal Golf Course and won the GBO by a record seven strokes. He finished the three-day tournament at 13-under-par 194, shattering the GBO record by four shots. The previous record of 198 was set by Matt Donovan of Pittsfield, Mass., in 2004.
The aid that Hawley hopes to take away from this win goes beyond the $11,000 first-place check from the $55,000 purse. He would like it to be a catalyst to a PGA Tour career.
“Hopefully, when [the PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament] comes around [in the fall], I’ll be playing like this,” said the 32-year-old Canadian Professional Golf Tour member.
Matt Saglio of Clearwater, Fla., was the runner-up after posting a 1-over-par 70 for a 201 total. Jesse Larson of Mendon, Vt., was third at 202, followed by Dustin Cone of Bennington, Vt., at 203 and Kevin Velardo of Wilmington, Mass., Jeff Seavey of Homosassa, Fla., and Mark Stevens of Concord, N.H., tied at 205. Larson shot a 68 Saturday, Cone a 66, Velardo and Seavey a 64 each and Stevens a 68.
Chris Hamel of Waterville was low amateur with 75—220.
Hawley pointed out that a good round is not a fluke. It comes from preparation and performance.
“This round today didn’t just happen,” he said. “Practicing, getting to bed early, eating right — a lot of lifestyle changes have gone into it.”
Before Saturday’s round, Hawley was nervous, and he welcomed it.
“I embrace the nervousness,” he said. “I can’t go to my home course on a Tuesday and duplicate it. Now I know, down the stretch, that I can hit shots and make putts.
“I hope I can draw on this later in the year.”
Hawley started the misty, showery day two strokes ahead of Saglio and three up on Eric Egloff of Sandy Springs, Md. He began widening it almost immediately as he ran in a 30-foot birdie putt on the second hole that just tumbled in on the right edge.
“Those first four holes, even though I didn’t birdie No. 4 [the only par 5 on the course], set a good tone for the day,” said Hawley.
He added another birdie, matched by Saglio, on the fifth hole, then pushed his lead over Saglio to five shots with a birdie on No. 7. Egloff, who tied for eighth, bogeyed the first and sixth holes and double bogeyed the seventh and fell out of contention.
Hawley added a final birdie on 17 and played it safe on the final hole by hitting an iron off the tee, laying up on his second shot on the long par 4 and knocking the approach shot within a foot of the cup, which was on the back left section of the undulating green.
His tap-in par secured a win that had eluded him since 2006, when he was beaten by Marc Lawless of Aptos, Calif., on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff.
Hawley had started that final day in ’06 with the exact same score and a three-stroke lead. He remembered that finish but didn’t dwell on it.
“If you’re human,” Hawley said, “you can’t keep those thoughts out, but you have to remember how you were playing well to get there.”
He played even better this time, evidenced by the fact he didn’t make a single bogey during the 54-hole tournament.
Saglio said he wasn’t hitting the ball well Saturday, and he had to work hard just to stay close.
“I couldn’t put any pressure on him,” said Saglio. “My hat’s off to him, he played flawless.”
Egloff had a rough day right from his first tee shot.
“I drove it into the hazard [between the first hole and the driving range],” he said. “That set the tone for the round.”
He also missed some short putts.
“It just wasn’t my day,” Egloff said.
Hawley was still pumped up afterward.
“I don’t think I need as much caffeine as I thought for the drive home,” he said.