April 23, 2018
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Bunyan golf is friendly competition for Rowe brothers

By Dave Barber, BDN Staff

ORONO, Maine — For brothers Gary and Don Rowe, sports were something they always competed in — especially with each other.

‘’Baseball, basketball, whatever,’’ said Don Rowe, 60, of Holden.

The Brewer natives added golf in the early 1960s after Pine Hill Golf Club opened. Their golf competition continues unabated, including this weekend in the 47th Paul Bunyan Amateur Golf Tournament.

They have been playing together and against each other in the Bunyan for about a dozen years.

‘’It’s a competition between brothers, against the golf course, everything,’’ said Don.

And the stakes are high.

‘’It’s for bragging rights, that’s all. And just for the day,’’ said Gary, 64. He has run a medical practice in Albany, N.Y., for about 22 years after a 23-year career as a Navy hospital corpsman.

‘’When the round is done, it’s done,’’ agreed Don, who was maintenance supervisor at St. Joseph Hospital in Bangor for 33 years and a 20-year veteran of the Maine Air National Guard.

Don Rowe kept playing golf after high school, while Gary took time off.

‘’I only played sporadically [in his school years] and not at all in the Navy,’’ said Gary. ‘’I’ve played a lot more since I retired from the Navy.’’

They’re at the point now where they’re about even again.

“I’m about a 12, 13 [handicap],’’ said Gary. ‘’I play quite a bit when I can.’’

‘’And I’m about the same, 12 to 13,’’ said Don. ‘’That’s what make it interesting. We’re only one or two strokes different every time we play.’’

That includes Saturday’s opening round at Penobscot Valley Country Club.

‘’We were both 89 today,’’ said Don.

They like the courses, the other being Kebo Valley Golf Club in Bar Harbor, no matter what they shoot.

‘’We always think we’ll shoot better scores, but we never do,’’ said Don, laughing.

They started playing in the Bunyan because of Don’s competitive golf zeal.

Don said he “was always looking for a tournament, scrambles, whatever. This (Bunyan) came along, I enjoyed it for a couple of years, then he came along.’’

They’re ready to go at it again Sunday, and into the future.

‘’It’s a done deal,’’ said Don about playing in more Bunyans. ‘’Next year, the year after, as along as we’re …’’

‘’…still able,’’ finished Gary.

They laughed and headed out the door, together.

Jones leads tourney

Ricky Jones of Thomaston is leading the Bunyan by four strokes after shooting a 2-under-par 68 Saturday at Kebo. Jones is a four-time winner of the Bunyan.

Defending champion Ryan Gay of Pittston, 2008 champion Joe Alvarez of Hampden and Shawn Gepfert of Topsham are tied for second at 72, and Michael Hersey of Presque Isle and Mike Doran of Portland are tied for fifth at 73.

Lon Winchester of Etna leads B flight after posting a 77 Saturday at Kebo, while Eric Fowle tops C flight and James Stanley Smith Jr. leads D. Fowle had an 80 and Smith an 85, both at PVCC.

Jennifer Weiland of Hampden leads the women’s A flight after shooting an 88 at Kebo, a stroke ahead of Micki Meggison of Gorham and Kathi O’Grady of Portland.

Michele Davis leads by five in B after a 90 at Kebo, Jody Lyford shot an 87 at PVCC and leads in C, while Catherine Studley is up by 10 in D after a 95 at PVCC.

The flights switch courses Sunday for the 18-hole finale.

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