BANGOR, Maine – Shawn Warren, a Windham native who now plays out of Tampa, Fla., birdied four of the last five holes Friday to grab the lead after the first round of the Hollywood Slots Greater Bangor Open.
Warren’ s 5-under-par 64 at Bangor Municipal Golf Course leads Michael Carbone of Brewster, Mass., by two strokes.
Former GBO champions Eric Egloff of Sandy Springs, Md., and Joe Cioe of Homosassa, Fla., and Samoset Resort of Rockport teaching pro Jeff Seavey lead a seven-man contingent tied at 67.
The GBO concludes with today’ s 18-hole finale, a finish that seemed almost a dream Friday.
After the first seven groups teed off, starting at 7 a.m., the rains came again, soaking an already waterlogged course that forced Thursday’ s first round to be canceled.
Before play was able to resume at 1 p.m., head pro Brian Enman had a contingency plan already worked up.
“As bad as the weather was, we were working up plans to go 36 holes Saturday,” said Enman.
In fact, he had already set up the starting times for just such a scenario when the skies cleared and the greens dried enough to allow play.
“It was very close [to being called off],” said Enman. “We had to have a contingency plan.”
Instead, the players were finally able to get a full day in, despite the late start.
“I’ m glad we waited it out,” said Enman.
Warren was in the second group to tee off Friday morning, and he said his start was nothing special.
“It was ho hum, just plodding along,” said Warren. Then they sat around from about 8 a.m. until 1 p.m.
After play resumed, he birdied No. 4 but gave it back with a bogey on No. 7. He followed that with a birdie on No. 8 and made the turn at 1-under-par 34.
Then his game warmed up.
“I just started making putts on the back nine,” he said. “It got my confidence going, and I stayed aggressive.
“The ball started going where I was aiming, and when the happens you start making a lot of birdies.”
He bogeyed 10, birdied 11 and parred the next two. He finished with 3s on the last five holes, only one of them a par.
“I wanted to get as close to [playing in] the final group as possible,” he said. “That’ s where you want to put yourself every single tournament.
“No I’ ve just got to go out and win one.”
He was close earlier this week, coming in second at the New Hampshire Open on Tuesday after rounds of 67-66.
He said he finished ninth or 10th in the Massachusetts Open earlier this year and seventh or eighth at the Greater Portland Open.
“I had the lead going into the final round [of the Mass. Open],” said Warren. “I shot 74 [in the last round], and I kicked myself afterward.”
Even with 64 Friday, he wasn’ t completely happy.
“I feel like the course was out there for the taking,” he said. “Sixty-four puts me in contention, but I’ m not satisfied.
“I want to put a low one up tomorrow.”
Egloff, who shot a 62 to win low pro honors in Wednesday’ s pro-am, was impressed with Warren’ s effort.
“I didn’ t think anybody would go that low,” said Egloff, who won in his inaugural GBO appearance in 1995. “It was so hard to get the ball in the hole.”