Eric Dugas had a memorable freshman season at Husson University in Bangor.
With the Eagles golf team, he played for his father, Mike, who is the coach, and with his older brother, Gavin.
Last month at the NCAA Division III Men’s Golf Championships at the Grandover Resort in Greensboro, North Carolina, Eric Dugas finished tied for 12th overall.
His 292 was the lowest four-day tournament score in Husson history and his finish tied him for the best finish by an Eagles golfer in a national tournament. Joe Alvarez tied for 12th at the 2002 NAIA National championships.
Dugas was the first freshman in school history to qualify to play all four rounds. There were 217 golfers in the event.
During the fall season, Dugas was the North Atlantic Conference Rookie of the Year, his junior brother Gavin was the NAC Golfer of the Year and his dad was the NAC’s Coach of the Year as Husson won the NAC title.
Now, Eric Dugas would like to give himself a 19th birthday present this weekend by winning the fourth annual 36-hole Downeast Metro Amateur Golf Tournament at the Bangor Municipal Golf Course and the Kebo Valley Golf Club in Bar Harbor.
He will play the Bangor Muni on Saturday and at Kebo on Sunday.
Last year, he finished fourth in the Downeast Metro by shooting a 145, three shots behind winner John Hayes IV of Cape Elizabeth, who fired a 1-over-par 142.
“It’s a fun tournament,” said Dugas. “It’s a good one to get you ready for the Maine Amateur and stuff like that.
“It starts the summer golf season and you get to play two great golf courses,” added Dugas, who turned 19 this week. “Hopefully, I’ll be able to put a good round on the board on Saturday at the Bangor Muni, which is the home course for Husson. And I love to play Kebo.”
He said the two courses offer a distinct contrast. Bangor is the more wide-open course.
“It requires two different styles of play. You can be a little more aggressive at Bangor. You can go low (score) there,” said the Pittsfield native and former Maine Central Institute standout. “At Kebo, you have to pick your way around it. And you can’t leave your ball above the hole at Kebo. The greens are so quick.”
Dugas was pleased with his first season at Husson and his performance at the Division III championships.
“It was a lot of fun to play for a national championship. And to have my dad with me all the time was cool,” Dugas said. “I’m comfortable with all the guys and we had a good team chemistry. That was a big part of our success. If you weren’t having one of your best days, the other guys would be ready to pick you up.”
He admitted that he was a little nervous playing in his first NCAA Division III tournament, particularly on the first day, but they wore off.
“I told my dad on the last day, I’ve got to go out and have some fun today,” said Eric, who shot a 3-under 69 on the last day.
“My putting has always been a little shaky but I got my putter working on the last day. You never know when it’s going to come and when it’s going to leave. At Kebo last year, I had my worst ball striking day of the year but my putting was outstanding and I kept myself in it that way,” said Dugas.
Husson failed to make the cut after the first two rounds by just one shot but, in addition to the qualifying teams, the top six golfers off the non-qualifying teams advanced to the final two rounds.
With his brother and fellow Northeast All-Region team selections Mackenzie Clow and Daulton Wickenden being seniors next season along with Taylor Morang, Dugas believes he and Husson have something to build on.
“We not only want to make the cut as a team, we want to try to win it,” Eric Dugas said.
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