MANCHESTER — The amateurs only make up about a quarter of the field of Charlie’s Maine Open, but a few showed they can hang with the pros.

Augusta’s Jason Gall posted the best score of an amateur in this year’s Open, which was reduced to a one day tournament after Monday’s washout. Gall shot a 4 under par 66 on his home course.

“It was all my putter,” Gall, who birdied four holes and had no bogeys, said.

Gall wasn’t alone among the amateurs under par. Joe Alvarez shot a two-under 68. Lance Bernier and Johnny Hayes IV each shot a one-under 69.

“You know some of these guys out here are going to shoot really low,” Alvarez said. “It’s just try to make birdies. I hit driver on 16, which I almost never do, just to try to give myself a chance to get under par.”

Alvarez got his birdie on 16, and birdied 17, too, to get to two-under. Consistency was the key to his round, Alvarez said.

“When I got in trouble, I got it back into position where I could make par. It happened a couple of times,” Alvarez said.

Recent Maranacook graduate Luke Ruffing played in his first Maine Open. After finishing his first nine holes at -2, Ruffing struggled a little down the stretch to finish his round at +2. Considering he was six over par through seven holes when rain stopped play on Monday, Ruffing was pleased with his play Tuesday.

“Nine shots better than I shot through seven holes? Yeah, I’ll take that,” Ruffing said. “I did not show up ready to play (Monday), and that got me all fired up. I was ready to go out and play today. I didn’t finish the way I wanted to, but I played well.”

Playing with the pros gave Ruffing an appreciation of how golf can be played.

“It’s a lot different. Just the sounds of the ball coming off the club face is pure every time. It’s unreal. It’s fun to watch how you can just work your way around a course. A guy I played with, Mike San Filippo, didn’t make a bogey today. It was impressive,” Ruffing said.

Gall said he felt no pressure in his bogeyless round.

“I feel like some of the pressure’s off us amateurs when we play with the pros, because we have jobs and we can go home and not have to worry about it. We still compete against the same guys,” Gall said.

Gall played the back nine first, and his day’s signature moment came on the par 3, 144 yard 15th hole.

“I made it up and down from the left side of the green, which is almost impossible, and made a 20-footer for par,” Gall said. “That kept the round together, and from there it was smooth sailing.”

Alvarez was in a group with Jesse Speirs, who won the Maine Amateur in 2009, before going pro. Playing with a familiar partner was fun, Alvarez said.

“Jesse and I played a lot when we both lived up in Bangor. It was fun to get paired with him. Jesse’s just a great kid and he hits the ball really solid. It was nice to kind of go back to the old days,” Alvarez said.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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