MANCHESTER — Playing in one of the first groups of the day, Brian Agee didn’t expect his 6-under 64 to hold up as the leader on Day 1 of the Charlie’s Maine Open.

“It’s soft conditions so the ball’s stopping. You’re not getting a lot of bouncing right now. It’s very receptive. I wouldn’t be surprised if somebody went eight or nine (under par),” Agee said shortly after competing his round.

As it turned out, Agee’s score held up just fine. Throughout the day at the Augusta Country Club, nobody was able to catch the Leesburg, Va., pro, who carries a one-stroke lead into Tuesday’s final round.

David Hilgers, Eric Beringer and Patrick Pelletier each shot a 65.

Agee, who played a bogey-free, was consistent. Playing the back nine first, Agee birdied holes 11, 12 and 18. He birdied three through five on the front nine.

“I hit some solid shots. I hit 17 greens. When you give yourself look after look after look, I made a couple and hit some good chips. That worked out. Nothing super spectacular, just steady,” Agee said.

Beringer played his round with Agee and Augusta local Thomas Bean (78). Like Agee, Beringer didn’t score a bogey in his round, picking up birdies on 11, 16 and 18 over his first nine holes, and one and nine to finish his round.

“We played similar rounds,” Beringer said of playing with Agee. “We were both striking it pretty well. We made a couple good putts, and we were feeding off each other nicely. The greens were in really good shape. As long as you were below the hole, it made it easy to be aggressive with putts. I gave myself a lot of looks.”

Golfers finishing their rounds throughout the day reported the course was in good shape.

“You had to get used to figuring out how much backswing you were going to get,” said Mendon, Vt., native Jesse Larson, who is in a large group at four-under 66. “It was pretty soft so the first couple wedges I spun back 30 feet, so I started taking more club and chipping it in there. After a couple tries, I got dialed in with that.”

Waterville native Chris Hamel shot a 2-under 68. Hamel started out strong, making birdies on three of his first five holes. A double bogey on 10 set Hamel back, but he rallied with birdies on 16 and 18.

“I got into a bunker on 10, then I three-putted. I didn’t really hit my wedges good coming in but the last three holes I really pulled through,” Hamel said.

Coming off his second-place finish at the Maine Amateur two weeks ago, Augusta Country Club member Mark Plummer was happy to finish his round with an even 70.

“The way I played, that’s a pretty good score. I didn’t hit the ball very good today, but I scrambled and made a few good pars. I was happy with a 70 today,” Plummer, a 13-time Maine Am champion, said.

Plummer said when he plays his home course he usually doesn’t play from the back tees, making any advantage he may gain due to his familiarity with the course moot.

“It plays long for me, because we weren’t getting much roll and we played the back tees, which I normally don’t play when I play here. A little longer than I’m used to out here,” Plummer said.

Andrew Mason, the defending Maine Open champion, shot a 3-under 67. Mason birdied 3, 12 and 14.

Matthew Loubier of Waterville also came in at 3-under. Loubier had a run of four consecutive birdies on 9 through 12, but picked up a bogey on 16.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM


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