MANCHESTER — Luke Ruffing hopes his impressive showing last week in the Western Massachusetts Open is the springboard to good things at the Charlie’s Maine Open.

On July 17, Ruffing, who won the 2013 Class B individual golf championship as a senior at Maranacook Community High School, came in third place in the Western Massachusetts Open at the Crumpin-Fox Club in Bernardston, Mass.

Ruffing shot an even 72 and missed a playoff by one stroke, and had the low score for an amateur in the tournament.

“It showed that I can play with the pros,” Ruffing said.

Ruffing is one of 45 amateurs in the 144 player field for Charlie’s Maine Open, which will be played at the Augusta Country Club on Monday and Tuesday.

The amateurs in the tournament represent some of the top players in the state, including 13-time Maine Am champion Mark Plummer, three-time Maine Am champion Ricky Jones, former Maine match play champion Joe Alvarez, and former high school standouts Ruffing and Taylor Morang.

Three-time Maine Am winner Ryan Gay, now a professional, also will play in the tournament.

Ruffing finished tied for ninth in the Maine Am earlier this month at Waterville Country Club. Ruffing’s success at the Western Mass. Open not only gave him confidence in his game, but also reinforced that he has to stay mentally sharp throughout a round.

“I need to focus on each and every shot,” Ruffing said.

Maine native Shawn Warren, who won the Western Mass. Open, will also play the Maine Open. Bangor native Jesse Speirs, who as of Saturday morning held a one-stroke lead in the Greater Bangor Open with one round to play, will compete in the Maine Open, along with many pros who came to Maine to play both tournaments.

Pennsylvania native Andrew Mason is the defending Charlie’s Maine Open champion. Mason won last year’s tournament, which was cut to one day due to weather, with a 62.

Augusta’s Jason Gall shot a 66 for the low Amateur score last year, and is back this year.

Ruffing will be one of the first players on the course on Monday, teeing off at 7:40 a.m. He’ll be in a group with professional players Christian Westhorpe and Steven Smith. One thing stands out each time Ruffing plays a round with pros, he said.

“Just hearing the sound of the ball coming off the club face,” Ruffing said. “It’s pure every single time.”

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM


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