MANCHESTER — There were plenty of good shots and more than a few bad ones Tuesday during the first round of the Charlie’s Maine Open, which returned to the Augusta Country Club for the first time since 1960.

One stood out above them all.

Kevin Roy, 22, of Syracuse, N.Y., scored an eagle on the par 4 13th — one of the toughest holes at the 6,350-yard Country Club — that vaulted him to the top of the leaderboard after Day 1.

“I started off decent,” Roy, whose father, Jim, was fully exempt on the Champions Tour in 2010. “I parred my first three holes then I holed out from 170 yards for an eagle. It kick-started my round.”

Roy, Jeremiah Shields and Jesse Larson each shot a 2-under par 68 to grab a share of the Maine Open lead.

Matt Baker, Jack Wyman, Peter Wright, Maki Kobayashi, 1981 Maine Open champ Don Robertson, and Jason Parajeckas each shot a 69.

Defending Maine Open champ Michael Carbone, of Brewster, Mass., withdrew from the tournament Monday after he qualified for the PGA Travelers Championship this week.

“He called me (Monday) night and told me,” tournament director Sam Marzenell said. “I don’t blame him. He has a chance at ($1.2 million).”

Carbone qualified by shooting a 4-under par 68 at the Gillette Ridge Golf Club in Bloomfield, Conn., on Monday.

Only nine of the 155 players in the field finished under par.

The short course with inviting greens practically dared golfers to play aggressively in the first round.

But those who did — and there were plenty of them in the field — paid dearly for that decision.

“The greens were a little quicker and the rough was a little thick, but I’m surprised the scores were as high as they were,” said 13-time Maine Amateur champ and longtime ACC member Mark Plummer, who shot a 74. “I thought somebody would shoot a 66.”

The greens proved to be the course’s best defense Tuesday. Some called it the “Little Monster.”

Whatever it was Tuesday, it certainly had teeth.

“You have to play conservative and hope you can make putts,” said Shields, 29, of Ottawa, Ontario, who turned professional in 2006 but took a few years off before returning to the sport this summer. “I didn’t try to overpower any hole. I looked at the hole, and whatever it gave up, I went for it. I went for the fatter part of the fairways.”

Shields made five birdies, including three in the final seven holes.

Roy turned pro about two weeks ago after graduating from Long Beach State University. He was a first-team all-Big West selection at Long Beach State.

Roy also birdied the par 4 second hole but bogeyed the par 4 fourth.

Wyman, who helped Falmouth win the Class B state title in 2008, nearly finished tied for the lead. He birdied the par 3 15th and the par 4 16th to put him 2-under. However, he bogeyed the par 5 18th.

Tim Desmarais, 31, of Cape Elizabeth, was one of three players to shoot an even 70.

“The greens were awesome,” said Desmarais, the assistant golf pro at the Purpoodock Club. “There were opportunities out there. (Today), it will be the same game plan. I’ll try to get it going.”

Not many players got going Tuesday. The course left more than a few players frustrated and looking for answers by the end of the day.

The top finishers said the game plan was simple: Keep it in the fairways and, above all, keep it below the hole.

“Anything above, and you were two-putting,” Roy said.

Shields hit 15 greens and birdied four holes on the back nine — including three straight on the par 4 14th, par 3 15th and par 3 16th. He finished with five birdies.

Larson made five birdies and three bogeys.

Three-time Maine Amateur champ Ryan Gay, of Pittston, finished with a 72.

He opened his round with a double bogey before parring three straight holes. He made three birdies, but three bogeys on the back nine pushed him over par.

“I fought it all day,” he said. “I really just want to shoot a good round. I haven’t done that in awhile.”

Plummer also struggled. He was two over after the front nine but then bogeyed the par 4 11th and the par 3 15th.

“I never got going,” he said.

The leaders will go out at 1:10 p.m. today. In all, 104 players advanced to the final round today.

Bill Stewart — 621-5640

[email protected]


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