NEWRY — Madison’s Seth Sweet played his best golf on the back nine, overcoming a slow start to take the lead after Day 1 of the Maine Amateur Golf Championship at Sunday River Golf Club.

A June graduate of Madison Area Memorial High School, Sweet birdied four of his last nine holes to finish the day 2-under par at 70. The only player to go under par, Sweet has a two stroke lead over Mike Doran, who shot an even 72. Mike O’Brien and Len Cole are tied for third at 73.

Three-time tournament champion Ryan Gay of PIttston is in a five-way tie for fifth place at 74. Jason Gall of Augusta and Matt Loubier of Winslow joined Gay at 74. Augusta’s Mark Plummer, a 13-time Maine Amateur champ, shot a 78 and is tied for 20th place.

Sweet, 17, bogeyed the ninth hole to finish the front nine at +1, but rallied on the back nine. Sweet birdied holes 10, 13, 15, and 16. Those, combined with a bogey on 14, gave Sweet a 3-under on the back nine and a 2-under on the day.

The toughest hole of the day was the 443 yard, par 4 18th. A dogleg left with out of bounds on the right, 18 caused fits throughout the day. Seventy of the 126 golfers who finished the day shot a bogey or worse on 18, and three took a double digit score on the hole.

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