MANCHESTER — Sam Grindle has experienced plenty of success at the Charlie’s Maine Open. The Deer Isle native was the top amateur in the 2015 tournament. Now in his first year as a pro, Grindle, 23, will approach the tournament a little differently when he tees off at the Augusta Country Club on Tuesday morning.

“I think I’ll look to attack the golf course a little more. Competing in the pro section, the scores are a bit lower, as you know,” Grindle said just before he hit the putting green Monday afternoon. “I’ve played this course enough to know the spots where to attack and when to hold back a little bit. I’m ready for it.”

A two-day, 36 hole tournament, Charlie’s Maine Open begins Tuesday and concludes Wednesday. There are 108 players — 32 amateurs — in the field, which also includes professional players from 17 states, as well as Quebec and Bermuda. Last year’s champion, JD Dornes of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, tees off at 7:40 a.m. Tuesday.

Ian Thimble, a pro from Hyde Park, Massachusetts, is playing his third Charlie’s Maine Open. Thimble will be in the first group Tuesday, with amateur Eric Dugas of Pittsfield and Adam Hemeon of Weston, Massachusetts.

The Augusta Country Club course is not as long as many courses, but offers other challenges, said Thimble, who won the 2014 Massachusetts Open.

“You’ve got to pay attention off the tee here,” he added. “It’s scorable if you’re hitting it well. It’s definitely a first-shot course. Get the ball on the fairway and go to work from there.”

Thimble acknowledged he’s struggled the par-4 13th hole, which is 458 yards but narrow.

“That’s always a tough tee ball for me. It’s open, but you can’t go left. You can’t go right. It’s a tough second shot. That’s one I visualize hitting a good one there,” Thimble said.

The pro at Weston Golf Club, Hemeon is playing his first Charlie’s Maine Open.

“I haven’t had any state opens this year, and just wanted to get up here and play and get some competitive rounds in,” Hemeon said. “I don’t know anything about the place. I’m excited to see it.”

For Grindle, this first professional golf season has been up and down. Grindle finished tied for 23rd place at one-under par in the New England Open in early June at the Quechee Club in Vermont, and placed 25th in the Vermont Open. Grindle made the cut at the Massachusetts Open, but struggled in the Greater Bangor Open and New Hampshire Open.

“I’ve cashed a couple checks,” Grindle said. “It’s been up and down, for sure. I started the season off decent, and struggled the last couple of tournaments. I’m looking forward to keeping it going and heading south for the winter.”

Grindle placed second in the Maine Amateur championship last year, and won the Maine match play title. Grindle said he plans to work and practice throughout the winter, take stock of his game, and consider qualifying school late next year.

Also in the field are two-time defending Maine Am champ Jack Wyman, who tees off his first round at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday; 13-time Maine Am champ Mark Plummer, who tees off at 8 a.m.; and Matt Campbell, the 2015 Charlie’s Maine Open champ.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.