CARRABASSETT VALLEY -– A strong showing on the back nine propelled Shawn Warren of Windham into the lead during the first round of the State of Maine championships at Sugarloaf Golf Club on Tuesday.
Warren, who plays out of the Falmouth Country Club, carded a 4-under-par 32 on the final nine holes en route to a 68 on the day and a three-shot lead over Jeff Seavey of Samoset Resort in Rockport.
Seavey was the only other player under par, shooting a 1-under 71, while Jim Fairbanks of Nonesuch River in Scarborough and amateur Mark Plummer of Manchester both shot 72 and are tied for third place.
Mark Doran, another amateur, rounded out the top five, shooting a 1-over 73, while Hermon native Mike Baker was among four players who shot 74.
Warren parred his first four holes before recording a birdie on the par-4 fifth hole.
After giving that back with a bogey on No. 8, he jumpstarted his back nine by scoring birdies on three of his first four holes (10, 11 and 13), three of the five holes in Sugarloaf’s famous “String of Pearls.”
Warren’s other back-nine birdie came on the par-4 17th, and his bogey on No. 8 was the only one on his round.
Plummer, who is the low amateur, enjoyed a consistent round with two birdies while bogeying the first and 18th holes.
The former four-time champ was also sharp on the back nine, with birdies on Nos. 11 and 14, while Fairbanks registered four bogeys and four birdies, including three birdies on his final nine holes.
Doran shook off a rough start in which he bogeyed the first and double-bogeyed the second by recording only two bogeys the rest of his round while notching four birdies.
Reigning champion Mike Worroll of Purpoodock Club in Cape Elizabeth sits in a four-way tie for sixth place at 74, while five-time winner Bob Darling of Fox Ridge is in a three-way tie for 17th at 77.
Amateur-wise, Doran is one shot behind Plummer while Brandon Wohl and Jay Plourd each carded 3-over 75s.
Sugarloaf lived up to its reputation as one of Maine’s toughest courses, with players dueling fast greens and challenging pin placements, with 50 of the 81 players scoring a bogey or worse on the tough ninth hole.
The 36-hole event concludes today.
GBO pro-am today
Greater Bangor Open festivities will get under way today at Bangor Municipal Golf Course with the Pro-Am event.
The first group will tee off at 7 a.m.
The three-day GBO will start Thursday at Bangor Muni.