MANCHESTER — When he began his Day 2 round at the Charlie’s Maine Open, Matthew Campbell was tied for 23rd place. When he left the Augusta Country Club on Tuesday evening, Campbell was the tournament champion.

“I made a lot of good par saves from about 4 or 5 feet on four of the last five (holes), and I kept on grinding,” Campbell said.

Campbell shot a seven under par 63 on Tuesday. Campbell birdied seven of his final 11 holes on Tuesday to finish at nine-under par (131) for the tournament. It was the first professional win for the 26-year old Rome, N.Y. native.

“I knew I had to make (birdies) coming in, though. I just tried to, cliche, but stay one shot at a time, and the putts started falling,” Campbell said.

Campbell finished one stroke ahead of David Hilgers, and two ahead of Brian Agee and Eric Beringer.

At 2:04 p.m., there was a 76-minute lightning delay. The final group of Hilgers, Agee and Beringer had just reached the fourth tee. Campbell was on hole 12. When play resumed, Campbell maintained the momentum that began with consecutive birdies on 8, 9 and 10. Campbell, who tied for seventh place in the 2014 Maine Open, birdied 12, 13, 15 and 18 to finish his round. Campbell teed off at 11:30 a.m., one hour and 50 minutes before the final group of the day. Now he had to wait.

“I was scoreboard watching the whole time. I was pretty nervous. This is my first win as a professional,” Campbell said.

Campbell said he played aggressively, particularly on the back nine.

“I had my wedges pretty dialed in, and I had my wedges in my hand coming in. Took advantage, finally,” Campbell said.

The final group heard about Campbell’s round early on the back nine. Hilgers said he learned about the low score in the clubhouse when he was on hole 12.

“I knew where I had to get to. That gets your swing a little hesitant sometimes,” Hilgers, of Hershey, Pennsylvania, said.

Hilgers’ round started well, with three birdies over the first eight holes. Consecutive bogeys on 9, 10 and 11 set Hilgers back, but he rallied to birdie four of the final seven, including 17 and 18 to claim second place.

Agee of Leesburg, Virginia, began the day with a one-stroke lead, but troubles putting haunted Agee throughout his round. When he lipped out a birdie putt on hole six, Agee looked at the sky in frustration. After he missed a par putt on 11, Agee yelled at himself as he climbed into his golf cart.

“The putter was a bit ice cold. I wasn’t striking it the way I wanted to strike it early in the round. The rain delay was a pretty good thing, at least I thought it was at the time,” Agee said.

Both Agee and Hilgers had a chance to tie Campbell with an eagle on the par 5, 540-yard 18th hole. While Hilgers birdied the hole, Agee settled for par.

“Once we got on 12, I felt a little juice there. We all know once the putter warms up, the confidence gets going. I was pleased with the way I hit it coming in. I wasn’t pleased with the first 11 holes, but that’s golf,” Agee said. “If you’re a professional, you can’t mail it in. You’ve got to claw back. I gave myself a chance on 18. I had to hole it from 130, but I had a shot.”

Sam Grindle of Deer Isle was the low amateur, coming in at even. A pair of Waterville golfers, Chris Hamel and Matthew Loubier, each finished at two under par.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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