CUMBERLAND, Maine — Summer is typically the time of year into which you squeeze all the activities you can before the grind of the school year begins.
Exhibit A: Will Kannegieser of Minot.
The Martindale golfer is playing in the Maine Junior Amateur Championship at Val Halla this week while also preparing to leave for Chile for two weeks with his fellow skiers at Gould Academy.
With a to-do list, packing and travel plans in the back of his mind, he was focused on golf Tuesday, and fired a 2-over-par 73 to tie for the lead in the 15- to 17-year-old age group after the first day. The final round is Wednesday.
“I know I need to get through this first, and then I’ll worry about (the trip),” said Kannegieser. “We’ve started packing already. It’s pretty exciting.”
Kannegieser is tied with Freeport’s George Doolan. Bangor’s Drew Powell and Manchester’s Luke Ruffing are right behind them at 74.
“I didn’t expect much,” said Kannegieser. “I hadn’t been playing too well. This course allows you to hit some loose shots and get away with shots. I was happy. I hadn’t practiced a lot.”
Kannegieser started off slowly with a bogey and a double bogey on his first two holes. He then birdied three in a row to put him at 36 at the turn. He bogeyed the 10th and had birdies on the 14th and 16th. He finished with a pair of bogeys on the final two holes.
“I wasn’t expecting anything,” Kannegieser said. “It was a nice surprise. I hadn’t been practicing. That’s what’s been holding me back. I’m hitting a lot of loose shots when I really can’t be, but I was happy.”
Doolan, who attends Westminster, a boarding school in Connecticut, only had one birdie the entire round. He played a steady game and kept his score low.
“It was just hole-by-hole and just trying to stay in it,” Doolan said.
He had two bogeys on the front nine. His birdie came on the 14th, but he gave that back with a bogey two holes later.
“I just made a lot of putts,” Doolan said. “I kind of had to grind it out. I didn’t hit my irons great, but I putted well and that kind of kept it together.”
Powell was pleased to be among the lower scores but thought he could have done even better.
“I had two double bogeys, which really killed me,” Powell said. “I saved a lot of pars. It should have been in the 60s.”
After a bogey on the second hole, he birdied the fourth. A double bogey followed that on the next hole. After a birdie on the seventh, he finished the front at 36. He was even par on the back.
“I came into the day with no expectations at all,” Powell said. “I haven’t been hitting it well at all. I figured I’d just come out into the round and get the most out of the round that I could and I did.”
Ruffing was hoping to be in contention this week and his 74 did just that.
“I was thinking I could get a couple of scores in the 70s and get up there in the top two or three,” Ruffing said.
He had a double bogey on the second hole but birdied the third and fifth. Another double bogey left him with a 37 on the front. He matched that on the back. He birdied the 10th and was even the rest of the way.
“The first nine was kind of ugly,” Ruffing said. “I’ve been fighting my swing the past couple of days. I was able to work it around the course today.”
In the girls’ 15-17 age group, Presque Isle’s Jenna Hallett leads with an 86. Fairfield’s Kelsie Dessent and Yarmouth’s Grace King each shot a 96 to tie for second.
In the 13-14 girls’ group, Newcastle’s Bailey Plourde finished at 82 with Erin Holmes at 92.
In the 12-and-under boys, Cape’s Thomas Higgins shot a 39 to build a six-stroke lead. Matt Brown, Evan Glicos and Max Altzhauer each shot a 45.
In the boys’ 13-14 group, Camden’s Cole Anderson shot a 78. Eric Dugas and Tyler Walker were each second at 80.