October 19, 2021

Gamers fired up to be component of specialist golf’s return to Maine

5 min read

FALMOUTH — Coming off a tournament last weekend in Kansas, where by the temperature achieved 102 levels, golfers from the Korn Ferry Tour appreciate the cooler weather in Maine.

“It’s awesome,” claimed Shad Tuten, a 28-year-aged from Aiken, South Carolina. “It’s way greater than Wichita. We’re energized.”

So are a ton of folks in Maine. Skilled golfing returns to the condition this week with the Stay and Perform in Maine Open, a 72-hole event starting off Thursday at the Falmouth Nation Club.

This will be Maine’s very first pro event since 1993, the remaining year of the New England Common, which was held at the Woodlands Club in Falmouth and put on by the Ben Hogan Tour – the predecessor to the Korn Ferry Tour.

The celebration, managed by Shamrock Athletics and Entertainment of Portland, will attribute 156 golfers taking part in for a purse of $600,000, with $108,000 likely to the winner.

Extra essential for the Korn Ferry Tour golfers is that it is yet another opportunity to get a move to the PGA Tour. The Korn Ferry Tour is a stage underneath the PGA – about 75 percent of the golfers on the PGA Tour began their professions on the Korn Ferry Tour – and now this year 10 players have secured more than enough factors to earn their PGA Tour cards.

Chad Ramey, a 28-year-outdated from Mississippi, acquired his PGA Tour card just previous weekend in Wichita.

“It’s a large reduction, no doubt about it,” Ramey mentioned in the course of a information conference close to the 18th hole Tuesday afternoon. “I’ve set in a lot of tricky operate my total lifetime to finally safe a place, so it is a significant reduction.”

The festivities will begin with a Pro-Am match on Wednesday before the pros just take above the training course. It is a sturdy industry, with 20 of the top 25 gamers in the Korn Ferry Tour issue standings competing, which includes four of the leading 10: Taylor Pendrith (No. 5), Ramey (No. 8), Paul Barjon (No. 9) and Lee Hodges (No. 10). All those four have gained their PGA Tour playing cards.

The inaugural Stay and Function in Maine Open was intended to be held previous calendar year but was canceled due to the fact of the coronavirus pandemic. Rather, the five-year deal that Shamrock Athletics signed with the PGA Tour starts this year. As component of the offer, the event will donate at least $100,000 each calendar year to the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital in Portland.

Shawn Warren, a Falmouth Region Club professional, talks to the media about the Korn Ferry Tour occasion this 7 days at Falmouth. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer Obtain this Image

Shawn Warren, a teaching professional at Falmouth Country Club and one of two Maine-dependent PGA execs (alongside with Portland Nation Club professional Dan Venezio), claimed the 1-calendar year postponement was really a blessing. It allowed the country club to reconstruct the study course – placing in five new tee packing containers that lengthened the course to 7,372 yards (from just under 7,000) – and permitted time for the pandemic to sluggish and carry followers again to the study course. Roughly 2,500 enthusiasts will be allowed each and every day.

“I’ve seasoned it both equally ways,” Warren claimed on Tuesday. “I’ve performed in a PGA Championship that I feel was the most attended ever and then I’ve played in 1 where by there was no people today, previous calendar year in San Francisco. The experience and the ambiance, just remaining out there, the excitement you get with the enthusiasts, just the over-all encounter, that’s what we’re likely to see out there.”

Korn Ferry Tour golfer Andrew Novak, a 26-12 months-previous from South Carolina who is rated 18th, seemed out at the grandstand made at the rear of the 18th environmentally friendly and envisioned a whole crowd.

“I be expecting they’re going to have some individuals,” he explained. “And we’ve actually skipped that. Not too long ago it is been buying up. Coming out of COVID, there weren’t far too many lovers. But we appreciate the support. I’m seeking forward to observing a whole lot of locals out below.”

Andrew Novak of South Carolina is satisfied to be in Maine for the Korn Ferry Tour event this week. Derek Davis/Employees Photographer Invest in this Image

The pros acquired their initial glimpse at the program on Tuesday and came away impressed. They all see it as a hard, but fair, training course, with a lot of hazards and tough places. Even with the additional length, the long hitters just can’t just bomb away with their drivers.

Tuten, who didn’t get there in Maine until eventually Monday afternoon immediately after being stranded in Chicago on Sunday evening mainly because of poor temperature, phone calls it “a plotter’s study course.”

“You have to retain the ball in front of you, maintain ball in engage in,” he claimed. “You have to form of nitpick, the place you have to plot your way about. Which is my type of my activity.”

All people agrees that 17 and 18 could be the pivotal holes. “Eighteen is in all probability the ideal golfing hole out in this article,” Tuten stated. “I believe it’s likely a person of the much better ending holes we’ve had all yr, the way it sets up. And it plays drastically distinctive from which path the wind blows. I consider there is heading to be some fireworks on 18 this week.”

Most of the Korn Ferry Tour golfers have never ever been to Maine. Several of them have excursions to lighthouses and condition parks on their agendas this 7 days.

Ramey and his fiancée expended Monday evening in downtown Portland, wherever they dined on lobster rolls. “I’ve been hunting ahead to coming here ever since they declared this match,” he claimed. “It’s every little thing I expected.”

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