MANCHESTER — Dustin Cone waited about an hour to see if his 4-under 66 would be good enough to force a playoff Wednesday at the final round of the Charlie’s Maine Open.

It took him 12 minutes to dispatch Jimmy Lytle, a West Palm Beach, Fla. native, in a one-hole playoff for his second Maine Open title in three years.

“I played pretty conservative, and I think that’s what helped me out,” said Cone, 29, of Bennington, Vt. “I tried to keep it as stress-free as possible.”

Cone, who teed off more than an hour before the leaders after shooting a 1-over 71 on Tuesday, made five birdies, including four in the back nine, to finish with a two-round total of 3-under par 137.
The longtime pro earned $9,000 for the victory.

“I bet a lot of guys left here today thinking of how many shots they could’ve saved if they played it different,” Cone said. “I played it really smart.”

Lytle shot a 6-under 64 to force a playoff. He birdied the final three holes — the par 4 16, par 3 17 and par 5 18 — to set the stage for the two-man playoff.

It was almost a three-golfer playoff, but Kevin Roy — who shared the lead after the first day with a 2-under 68 — couldn’t get a short birdie putt to fall in three of the final five holes.

He was one shot off the lead heading toward the clubhouse on the par 3 15. However, he missed birdie putts from within 10 feet on No. 15, No. 16 and No. 18. 

“I got off to a shaky start but I hung around, I guess,” said Roy, 22, of Syracuse, N.Y. “I’m not too disappointed. I’ve only been pro for two and a half weeks. I’m getting my feet wet.”

Roy shot a an even-par 70 to finish tied for third with a two-day total of 138.

John Elliott and Jason Parajeckas also finished at 138.

Three-time Maine Amateur champ Ryan Gay was 5-over on Wednesday and 8-over for the tournament, good for 26th.

Mark Plummer, a 13-time Maine Amateur champ and longtime ACC member, finished with a 146 after shooting 6-over on Wednesday.

Lytle and Cone headed to the 353-yard first tee to open the sudden-death playoff.

Both players made it on the green in two shots, but Cone was in line for the victory after a he hit a sand wedge from 93 yards out about five feet from the hole.

“I hit a three-wood off the tee,” Cone said. “I hit a good tee shot and hit a good second shot.”
Lytle missed a 25-foot birdie putt but then Cone rolled his 10-foot birdie putt inches wide of the hole.
The players seemed poised to extend the playoff to the par 3 second hole, but then Lytle pushed a four-foot putt for par wide.

“It’s unfortunate what happened,” Cone said. “You don’t expect guys to miss that. When it happens, you take advantage and leave.”

Cone did just that, tapping in for par to earn the victory.

“I’m not one of the longer guys out here,” Cone said. “Some guys who really kill it, I’m sure they stand up on some of these tees and lick their chops because they can hit it on these greens. I just tried to stay patient.”

Cone said he used his driver just once during the two-day tournament — the 18th on Wednesday.
He made birdie on the par 4 12th and the par 4 13th to put him 2-under. He then made birdie putts on the par 4 14th and par 3 15 th.

Cone closed with three pars, although he missed short birdie putts on 17 and 18 that ultimately would’ve given him the title after 36 holes.

“I missed an 8-footer on 17 and missed a 10-footer on 18,” he said. “I thought I was really going to have to get lucky to get into a playoff. Fortunately I did.”

Bill Stewart — 621-5640
[email protected]


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