YORK — When asked to name the best round of golf in his life, Drew Glasheen doesn’t hesitate. It was a couple years ago at Waterville Country Club, and Glasheen shot a 63.

“No bogies, and I putted real well,” Glasheen said.

Because he’s a competitor, the next thing out of Glasheen’s mouth was a remembrance of the one misstep of that round. When something is close to perfect, the blemish always seems bigger. That 63 could have been better. In Glasheen’s mind, should’ve been better.

“The third hole, I had eight feet for eagle, and I three-putted. That’s the one that stands out to me,” Glasheen, 32, said.

That’s why Glasheen played in the US Amateur Championship qualifier at The Ledges Golf Club on Monday. Forty-eight golfers played 36 holes for two guaranteed spots in the US Amateur Championship field next month at Pinehurst, North Carolina.

“It’s a tough course but fair. With the 36-hole format, you’ve got to put two rounds together back-to-back, and two guys are going to do it,” said DJ McNaughton, Glasheen’s friend and caddie.

With a two-round score of 163, 19-over par, Glasheeen finished well out of contention for one of those two tickets to Pinehurst. Still, the experience gave Glasheen what he was craving.

“Obviously, I don’t want to come out here, blow up, and shoot 80. I like to test myself. These are the best golfers in the New England area. You like to test yourself against the best,” Glasheen said.

Drew Glasheen of Waterville watches a shot during the U.S. Amateur qualifying round Monday at The Ledges Golf Club in York. Morning Sentinel photo by Travis Lazarczyk

In his round Monday morning, Glasheen started with the back nine holes. It was when he hit the front nine he ran into trouble. His tee shot on three pulled into the heavy rough to the right of the fairway, and it took a couple strokes to get back on track. That’s where McNaughton stepped up and was a top-shelf caddie. When Glasheen needed it, McNaughton was part therapist, part court jester.

“I’m just trying to read reactions to different situations. A couple ugly lip-outs for Drew today, but I thought his reactions were good. He rolled with the punches pretty well today,” McNaughton said. “I like to keep it light. A comment here, a comment there. A couple inside jokes. Keep him loose… I just wanted to make sure he was as confident as he could be. He hit a pretty good shot to get out of a tough spot. I know he had a double (bogey), but it could have been worse.”

When he saw Glasheen just needed a moment alone, McNaughton hung back as they walked to the next shot, the only sound the rattle of clubs in the bag. McNaughton caddied for Gardiner native Ryan Gay in 2011, when Gay won the Maine Am and the match play title. Glasheen and McNaughton became friends playing men’s league hockey.

“He’s pretty good at knowing my temperament. He’s pretty good at keeping me even keel,” Gasheen said of McNaughton. “If I start to get over the edge.”

Glasheen made the cut in the Maine Amateur Championship in 2017 and last year. Last week, he missed the cut at Portland Country Club on a course with undulating greens similar to those he played at The Ledges Monday.

“My putting has been pretty suspect the last couple rounds. At Waterville, I’m really comfortable with the greens. Here, there’s a lot of break. Same thing with Portland. The putter really hurt me today, and also I started hitting my driver poorly on the back nine,” Glasheen said. He spoke during his break between rounds, and decided he’d have to play more aggressively in the afternoon.

Whatever happened, Glasheen wouldn’t fold.

“Trying to grind when things aren’t going well. In hockey, you get down a goal or two, a couple good bounces, a couple good plays can turn it around. It’s the same thing as golf,” he said.

Glasheen played much better golf in his second round, shooting 78. Three holes he doubled bogeyed in round one became even par in round two. Glasheen’s competition was no longer the top amateur players in the region. It was himself.

“I just enjoy the competition of it. A lot of my friends joke around about it. It’s tough for me to play and not have some type of match going,” Glasheen said.

There are players who left the Ledges Monday disappointed not to have earned a spot in the national championship. Glasheen should not be one of them.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

 

 


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