Fans in Maine watching the U.S. Open this weekend who also follow the Greater Bangor Open and Charlie’s Maine Open tournaments may recognize a name playing at Oakmont Country Club. Mike Van Sickle, who competed in the two Maine professional tournaments in 2014, is competing in the U.S. Open at Oakmont Country Club in Oakmont, Pennsylvania.

On Thursday, Van Sickle shot a six-over 76 in a weather-delayed first round Thursday. He struggled on the front nine, before picking up three birdies on the back nine to finish strong.

You may recall, Van Sickle played some outstanding golf in two Maine tournaments in July 2014. He shot a Bangor Municipal Golf Course record 60 in the first round of the Greater Bangor Open and eventually finished second after losing to David Chung in a playoff.

In the first round of the Maine Open at Augusta Country Club, Van Sickle had a chance to chip in for eagle and course record 59 on hole 18 when play was suspended due to rain. Soon after, officials from the Maine State Golf Association and Augusta Country Club canceled the first round, making the Maine Open a one-day event and wiping out Van Sickle’s chance for a course record.

“It was shock and a punch to the gut. I really felt sickened,” Van Sickle said after the first day of the Maine Open. “I looked over at my dad and his face was white and in shock. It was just sickening. I don’t think I can express it any other way.”

The cancellation of the first round took a toll on Van Sickle on the second day of the tournament. He shot an even 70, finishing eight strokes behind winner Andrew Mason.

Van Sickle was added to the U.S. Open field on Monday, as an alternate from the sectional qualifying tournament in Maryland.

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Registration is now open for the Maine Women’s Amateur tournament, which will be played July 25-27 at Penobscot Valley Country Club in Orono. The field is limited to 120 players and the deadline to enter is July 17. The entry fee is $110, but $70 for junior players. To be eligible to compete, a player must be a member of the Women’s Maine State Golf Association or Southern Maine Women’s Golf Association and have played in three WMSGA and/or SMWGA tournaments between July 10, 2015 and July 17, 2016,

Nominations are open for the Abby Spector Award, which is presented in recognition of the Maine female golfer who best exemplifies the spirit of the game through a combination of ability and sportsmanship, perseverance, as well as her passion for the commitment to promoting the growth of the game. The award is named after Waterville native Abby Spector, a seven-time winner of the Maine Women’s Amateur and also a New England Amateur winner. Spector played her college golf at the University of North Carolina, and recovered from life-threatening complications after heart surgery in 2003 to become a club pro. Spector is now the director of instruction at Riverside Golf Course in Portland.

The deadline for nominations for the Abby Spector Award is July 1. The winner will be announced July 27 at the completion of the Maine Women’s Amateur championship. Nomination forms can be found at smwga.com or wmsga.org.

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The Women’s Tristate tournament was played at Samoset Resort in Rockport this week, with Vermont taking the title.

The tournament is a two-day event featuring some of the top women golfers from Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire playing as a state team. Vermont won the tournament for the seventh straight year, picking up 142 points. New Hampshire had 132 points, while Maine scored 130.5

Maine led after one day, before Vermont rallied on the second and final day of the tournament. Day 2 featured individual match play, with each playing vying for a maximum of six points. Five Vermont players scored the maximum six points to lead the Green Mountain players to the win.

Among those players for Maine were a handful of golfers from central Maine, including Carrie Langevin (Augusta), Liz Wiltshire (Natanis), Marice Cates (Waterville), Jean Cassidy (Natanis), Darlene Soboleski (Natanis), Vicki Lindquist (Natanis), Sharon Nelson (Waterville), Annette Charest (Natanis), and Judy Edgecomb (Meadows).

• • •

With the school year ending, junior play will begin taking off in the coming weeks.

The Maine Junior Tour will begin with a stop at Biddeford-Saco on June 28, Belgrade Lakes on June 29, and the Woodlands in Falmouth on June 30. Junior tournaments are open to players 17 and under. Competition is divided into three divisions based on age. Ages 12 and under play nine hole tournaments, while 13-14 and 15-17 play 18 holes.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

<URL destination=””>[email protected]

</URL>Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM


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