Seth Sweet’s college golf career at Old Dominion University ended with the Conference USA championship in Texarkana, Arkansas in late April. Now, the Madison native is preparing to take the first steps in a professional golf career.

Sweet plans on going on the SwingThought Tour in August, after he spends the next few months working and saving some money. The SwingThought Tour started in 2015 with the merger of the NGA Hooters and eGolf tours. The SwingThought Tour is designed to give young professional golfers the opportunity to play and advance to the and PGA tours. Among the PGA Tour players who spent time on the SwingThought Tour are Bubba Watson, Zach Johnson and Keegan Bradley.

The SwingThought Tour has tournaments in the Southeast with stops in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee and South Carolina, as well as stops in the Southwest. Sweet’s plan is to stick to tournaments on the East Coast this year. Playing Division I golf for four years was a blessing to his game, Sweet said.

“I definitely improved a lot over the four years. I gained a lot of experience, course management-wise,” Sweet, who won the Maine Amateur title in 2012, said.

Sweet tied for 26th place at the Conference USA championship. After a rough first day — on which he shot 78 — Sweet improved by three strokes on Day 2, and three more on Day 3 of the tournament.

“I was hitting the ball really well. The greens were like landing on concrete (on Day 1), and that took me by surprise,” Sweet said. “I played too aggressively and probably shouldn’t have.”

Still, Sweet feels his senior season was a success. His best finish came at the Farms Collegiate Invitational in San Diego in February. Sweet finished as runner-up, shooting a 5-under 211 for the three day tournament.

“For three rounds, I had a chance to win that one,” Sweet said. “This year I think I had a pretty good year.”

Sweet had four top 10 finishes this past season, including a fifth-place effort at the East Carolina University tournament in April, and a fifth place in the ODU/OBX Invitational last October.

Sweet said a highlight of his collegiate golf experience was getting to travel and play some fantastic courses. His favorite course was Greenbrier in West Virginia. TPC Sawgrass in Florida and the Classic Club in Palm Springs, California were other unforgettable courses, Sweet said.

“The opportunities that were there were just amazing,” Sweet said of playing for Old Dominion.

Sweet graduated with a degree in Sports Management and Psychology. He plans on playing one more amateur tournament, at Berkely Hall Golf Club in Bluffton, South Carolina, in July.

• • •

Martindale Country Club of Auburn won the Maine State Golf Association’s club team championship on Sunday at Belgrade Lakes. The team of Joe Baker, Brian Bilodeau, Jace Pearson and Andrew Slattery shot a 14-under 128 to finish one stroke ahead of Penobscot Valley, and two strokes ahead of defending champion Sable Oaks. Augusta Country Club was fourth.

It was the second win in three years for Martindale, which also won the tournament in 2014.

• • •

Last weekend, Craig Chapman and Curtis Jordan represented Maine in the U.S. Four-Ball Championships at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaronek, New York.

Auburn natives, Chapman and Jordan were in a field of 128 two-man teams. The first two days were stroke play, with the top 32 sides advancing to match play. Chapman and Jordan were plus-8 in stroke play and did not advance to the round of 32. It was the USGA event debut for both golfers.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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