BANGOR, Maine — The second round of the 47th Greater Bangor Open golf tournament at Bangor Municipal Golf Course was canceled because of Friday’s rain.
Only three players had completed their rounds when the decision was made to halt play because of wet course conditions.
That will set the stage for a final 18-hole shootout on Saturday with 21 golfers beginning play within four shots of the lead.
Jesse Larson of Rutland, Vt., and Eric Steger of Rocky Hill, Conn., each shot a 6-under-par 63 on Thursday to seize the lead after the opening round.
Mark Baldwin of Gilford, N.H., and Jon McLean of Weston, Fla., are just one shot back at 64. Mike Dugas of Pittsfield, John Elliott of Bristol, Conn., Matthew Majka of Clinton, N.Y., and Montreal’s Beon Yeong Lee are two shots off the pace at 65 while Josh Briere of Newport, Vt., Mike Welch of North Quincy, Mass., Zack Byrd of Murrells Inlet, S.C., and Quebec’s Alexis Anghert are three shots behind at 66.
Larson, Steger and McLean will play in the last group on Saturday as they will go off at 12:42 p.m. Dugas, Elliott and Baldwin will tee off at 12:33, Anghert, Lee and Majka will begin play at 12:24 and Welch, Briere and Byrd will be in the 12:15 threesome.
The 49-year-old Elliott and Windham’s Shawn Warren, who is six back at even-par 69, played 13 holes on Friday before the decision was made to cancel the round.
Patience is usually a virtue, but Warren said that won’t be the case on Saturday.
“[The winner] is going to be the guy who goes out and plays aggressive and shoots another low number because with the golf course playing soft the way it is [due to the rain], you’re going to be able to fire right at flags [without worrying about the ball rolling off the green],” said Warren. “People are going to be making a lot of birdies.”
“You’re going to have to shoot a pretty low score,” said Elliott. “The greens are going to be a little slower so you’re going to have to be a little more aggressive. So that’s going to be a little different.”
Warren said everyone will be more aggressive off the tee as well “because you aren’t going to get any of the roll.
“With it playing soft like that, it actually opens up a lot of the fairway so everybody will be hitting driver on every [par 4 or par 5] hole,” said Warren.
Elliott said he will need to shoot another 65 to have a chance to win the tournament.
Elliott said the fact he and Warren are both long hitters off the tee should be beneficial on Saturday.
“If you look at the fourth hole, which is the only par 5, if you can fly it out there far enough where you can get it [on the green] in two, that will be an advantage,” said Elliott. “There isn’t going to be any roll, so hitting it long will help a little bit.”
Elliott was pleased with Thursday’s 65, although he said, “I made some mistakes at the end.”
His putting was a plus and Warren pointed out that Elliott bought a new putter at the Bangor Municipal Golf Course before Wednesday’s pro-am tournament.
“I hadn’t been happy with my putter. I had used the same model for years,” explained Elliott. “I had a buddy who was playing in the New Hampshire Open and everything he hit with his [TaylorMade Ghost putter] was going in or close to going in.
“When I got up here, they had one in the shop, so I bought it and I’ve been pretty good with it. I shot an 8-under through 16 holes in the pro-am,” said Elliott.
The 28-year-old Warren, being as far back as he is and with as many golfers ahead him as there are, will need a very low score to get into contention.
“It’s hard to go into a round knowing that you have to shoot a really low score,” said Warren, who won the GBO in 2008. “But you can’t force it. It comes down to making putts. You’ve got to hope your putter gets hot.”
Bangor Municipal professional Brian Enman and assistant pro Rob Jarvis are hopeful they will be able to get Saturday’s round in.
“We only have three or four greens that hold water,” said Enman.
But he added that the wet conditions can make for an interesting challenge.
“The ball can do funny things,” said Enman.
He said if they can’t play on Saturday, Larson and Steger will be the co-champions.
Jarvis said they will have to change all the pin placements Friday night instead of leaving them in because some players did play the course on Friday and they would have an unfair advantage if they retained the pin placements.