FALMOUTH — Andrew Slattery said he had two recurring nightmares before the final round of Thursday’s Maine Amateur. One was that he would hit his opening tee shot in the water. The other was that he would hit it into the bunker on the right side and get a buried lie.

The latter happened and Slattery, the leader after two rounds, needed two shots to get out. He was able to make a bogey on the first hole and from there things gradually got better.

Withstanding a torrid start by playing partner Joe Walp, who birdied the first two holes, Slattery erased a two-stroke deficit on the back nine and shot a final round of 1-under par 71 to win the 95th Maine Amateur Championship by a shot over Walp at The Woodlands Club.

Slattery finished with a 54-hole score of 2-under 214. Walp, 20, a former Deering High player, shot a 70 to finish with a 215 total.

“It was a brutal start,” said Slattery. “I knew I had to be patient. We had a lot of holes left. You can’t try and get too much out of this golf course.”

The other thing that might have helped Slattery win? Other than at the start, he didn’t know how he stood with Walp and his other playing partner, Matt Greenleaf.

“Usually when I play, I knew how I stand with the guys in my group, but because of the crowd and nerves, I kind of got lost out there. Apparently, it worked,” Slattery.

The buried lie on the first hole wasn’t the only thing that happened to Slattery early in the round. He lost his scorecard and his GPS, which measures distances. His scorecard was found and given back to him on the fifth tee. His GPS he didn’t find, but borrowed one from the pro shop.

“I was a mess going down the third hole,” said Slattery.

He didn’t stay a mess much longer as he birdied the third hole, a narrow par five. That was sort of the jumpstart he needed.

Walp, a junior at Bryant University in Rhode Island, shot 33 on the front nine to take a one-shot lead. The lead doubled after 10 as he parred and Slattery bogeyed.

Things started to unravel a bit for Walp on the par-5, 11th. He hit his tee shot over the trap on the right side of the fairway and into the lateral hazard where he took a penalty stroke. Walp managed to make par and he birdied the next hole, a short, par-4. Slattery also matched Walp’s birdie on 12.

“I wasn’t expecting to make birdie,” said Slattery.

When Walp three-putted the 13th for a bogey and Slattery parred, it was a one-shot deficit. One hole later, they were tied as Walp’s second shot on 14 rolled over the green into another lateral hazard. Walp could play it this time, but his chip was a little strong and he couldn’t sink the par putt.

Slattery regained the lead on 15, a par-5, by making a four-foot birdie putt. That proved the margin of difference.

Both parred the last three holes, but Walp missed a golden chance to tie it on the par-3, 17th. His iron shot on the 215-yard hole ended up four and a half feet right of the hole.

“Joe hit a beautiful shot,” said Slattery. “It had to be one of the best of the tournament.”

Under the circumstances, it was likely the best period, but unfortunately for Walp, he couldn’t convert.

“I thought it was a left edge putt, but it didn’t move,” said Walp.

Both Walp and Slattery hit big drives on 18, a 436-yard, par 4. They both hit their second shots on. Slattery putted first from 25 feet and cozied it down to inches away for a tap-in par. Walp had a 15-footer to tie and send it to sudden death, but didn’t come close.

“I pulled it and hit it too hard,” he said.

“I putted so well in the tournament that it actually saved me, but I couldn’t make much on the back nine. Some of the putts I either pulled or hit them too hard. “

Asked about playing in the last group and his overall tourney expeeience, Walp said: “It was an awesome experience and I had a lot of fun. I enjoyed playing with Andrew and Matt.”

Greenleaf started the round one shot behind Slattery and one ahead of Walp. Greenleaf tied Slattery for the lead with a par on No. 1 and grabbed a share of the lead with Walp when he put a birdie on top of Walp’s on the second. Greenleaf lost his momentum when he doubled bogeyed the par-3, seventh. From holes 7 through 11, Greenleaf went five over par. He shot a final round 78 to finish fourth with a 222 total.

“One bad swing really cost me,” said Greenleaf of his tee shot on No. 7 which rolled down the dirt path and settled in thick grass.

“I lost my putting stroke. Andrew and Joe played great,” he said.

Both Slattery and Walp hit the ball great with their iron approach shots on target.

Sixteen-year old Drew Powell of Bangor finished third at 221. He had a final round 73. Defending champion Ricky Jones was fifth at 223. Joe Baker of Oxford was sixth at 225. There was a four -way tie for seventh among Joe Alvarez, Eric Crouse, Jason Gall and Luke Ruffing at 226.

Local hopefuls

Only three local golfers made it to the third round at the Woodlands.

Natanis Golf Course’s Luke Ruffing — a recent graduate of Maranacook Community High School — was one of three golfers to shoot under par on Day 3, as he fired a 2-under 70. Ruffing had twice as many birdies Thursday (four) as he had in the previous 36 holes to finish tied for seventh at 10-over.

Joining Ruffing at 10-over was Jason Gall, of Augusta Country Club, who had a tough front nine to finish up at 3-over on Thursday. Fellow Augusta CC member Sean Goggin had a rough go of it Thursday after a solid first two rounds, carding a 9-over 81 to finish at 18-over for the tournament and in 24th place.

Maine Central Institute teammates Gavin Dugas and Carter Pearl did not make it past the second day, nor did Michael Bouchard (Waterville CC), Denver Jalette (Waterville CC), Glenn Furth (Augusta CC), Tom Bean (Augusta CC), Cameron Ray (Belgrade Lakes GC), Jim Quinn (Augusta CC), Don Flanagan (Springbrook), Trent Murphy (Springbrook), Heath Cowan (Lakewood) or Jason MacDonald (Augusta CC).

Kennebec Journal staff writers contributed to this report.

Tom Chard can be reached at 791-6419 or at

[email protected]

Twitter: TomChardPPH

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