June 19, 2018
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GBO will become 36-hole tourney instead of 54-hole event if rain washes out Friday play

By Larry Mahoney, BDN Staff

BANGOR, Maine — The weather forecast isn’t favorable for Friday’s second round of the 47th annual Greater Bangor Open golf tournament at the Bangor Municipal Golf Course.

If they can’t play on Friday, the GBO will become a 36-hole tournament instead of a 54.

They will finish the tourney on Saturday with another 18-hole round. Under this scenario, there won’t be a cut, so every golfer will be involved on Saturday. Normally, there would be a cut after Friday’s round.

The tournament will not be extended to Sunday because Bangor Muni assistant pro Rob Jarvis said that is the day of the pro-am tourney for the Charlie’s Maine Open at the Augusta Country Club. The Maine Open will be held on Monday and Tuesday.

“We don’t want to ruin somebody else’s tournament and screw up everybody’s travel plans,” said Jarvis.

He said they will play in the rain on Friday unless there is thunder and lightning or “too much standing water on the greens.”

Jarvis and Bangor Municipal pro Brian Enman do have a contingency plan.

“We will try to put the pins in higher spots [on the green],” said Jarvis.

Gay has solid round

Pittston’s Ryan Gay turned pro a week ago but missed the cut in the New Hampshire Open by one shot.

The New Hampshire Open finished up on Tuesday as a 36-hole affair instead of a 54-hole tourney due to rain.

Gay shot a one-under 68 in Thursday’s first round of the GBO.

“I didn’t play very well [at the New Hampshire Open],” said Gay. “I didn’t putt that great today. I left a lot of putts short. Some bad drives also cost me. But I made a lot of good iron shots.”

This was just the second time Gay has ever played the Bangor Municipal Golf Course.

“It’s a good course. It’s fun. You can definitely make birdies here,” said Gay.

Gay spent three years at the University of New Mexico before transferring to St. John’s University in New York for his senior year this past year.

Gay was an All-Big East selection and led St. John’s to a runner-up finish at the Big East Tournament. He was St. John’s top finisher at the tourney, as he wound up fourth.

“I wasn’t improving at New Mexico,” said the 22-year-old Gay. “It was more structured. At St. John’s, I was able to do a lot more stuff on my own to get ready for my pro career. It was good. We played a lot at a lot of private golf clubs at St. John’s and it was a lot of fun.”

He said New Mexico had a home course just off campus.

Following the GBO and Maine Open, Gay intends to play a “couple of Canadian Tour events” and then head to PGA pre-qualifying school in Georgia for the Web.com Tour.

Speirs eyeing Web.com slot

Bangor’s Jesse Speirs will head to Web.com Tour qualifying school in Dallas in October.

It will be his fourth attempt to qualify.

He will play in a four-round tournament in October and if he shoots a low enough score, he will advance to a four-round tourney in November. If he makes it through that tournament, he will get to the final six-round tournament in December.

“Every year, I’ve gotten a little better,” said Speirs, who played his college golf at Texas Christian before transferring to the University of Mississippi. “Last year, I made it to the second stage and almost made it to the final stage. This year I have to build off it.”

He said it is important to “stay within yourself and not get mentally out of control” when playing at the qualifying school.

“You just have to go out there and not worry about anyone else’s game,” said the 26-year-old Speirs, who lives in Germantown, Tenn., which is just outside Memphis.

Speirs shot a one-under-par 68 on Thursday.

Grindle tied among amateurs

Deer Isle’s Sam Grindle tied with Greg Martin for the lowest round among the amateur players in Thursday’s first round of the GBO, as he shot a two-over par 71. Grindle finished tied for fourth in the Maine Amateur Championship with a three-over par 213 at the Augusta Country Club earlier this month.

He was making his debut in the GBO.

“It’s fun. It’s a good experience,” said Grindle. “I played pretty well. The wind was blowing a little bit on the front nine and I struggled a little bit but I had a solid back nine. I was one under par on the back nine.

“I putted the ball pretty well. I didn’t hit it as solid as I wanted to. I didn’t hit as many fairways and greens as I would have liked but I made some putts,” said Grindle, who enjoyed the course.

“It was pretty nice. The greens were rolling pretty well,” said Grindle, who will attend Rollins College (Fla.) in the fall.

“I’m going to try to walk on [to the golf team],” said the 18-year-old Grindle, who was a point guard and 1,000-point scorer for the Deer Isle-Stonington basketball team and an honorable mention All-Maine basketball choice and an All-Penobscot Valley Conference Class D first team baseball player. He was the Mariners’ ace pitcher.

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