Kellen Adickes watches his tee shot on No. 1 during the second round of the Maine Amateur golf championship last year at the Samoset Resort Golf Course in Rockport. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel

MANCHESTER — Jack Quinn fancies his chances here. After all, he feels he showed why earlier this week.

The soon-to-be junior at Gardiner Area High School recently played golf at Augusta Country Club with Caleb Manuel, a three-time Maine Amateur champion and the preeminent player in the state. Although it was only one round, there was little room between the two.

“He shot 66, and I shot 67, so it was a pretty good battle,” said Quinn, who shot with Manuel as a warm-up to next week’s Charlie’s Maine Open at the ACC. “It was really cool, and it makes me think that, ‘Hey, if I come out there with my best stuff, I think I’ve got a chance.’”

It’s an opportunity that amateur players across the state are relishing ahead of the tournament, set for Monday through Wednesday at the Manchester course. Whether they hope to contend or are just here for the experience, the chance to compete against each other and the pros will make for a memorable three days.

It’s the first time in five years that the Charlie’s Maine Open has been held. COVID-19 restrictions precluded the tournament from taking place in 2020 or 2021, and another competition, the two-day Maine Event, was held at Augusta in lieu of the event in 2022 and 2023.

The field, Kellen Adickes said, makes the Charlie’s Maine Open distinct. Chances to play against both professionals such as Manuel and five-time PGA New England Player of the Year Shawn Warren as well as some top competitors from high school are rare, the senior-to-be at Lincoln Academy said.


“Mix-field events like this one coming up are really cool,” said Adickes, who is also the reigning New England high school champion. “It doesn’t change anything I do — I’m just playing the golf course — but it’s a cool opportunity, and if I can compete with them, that’s fantastic.”

Although Adickes is pleased with his recent play on the course, a true breakout round, he said, is something that’s eluded him. He hopes that Augusta, which plays to his strengths with numerous placement tee shots, can be the right venue to produce such a performance.

Mark Plummer tees off on the first hole during the opening round of the Maine Event golf tournament last year at the Augusta Country Club in Manchester. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel

Marc Twombly, who won the Class A state title for Scarborough in 2022 and placed third last year, has played Augusta numerous times. His emphasis heading into Monday is good tee shots, and though he said he doesn’t expect to win, he does hope to be competitive.

“You’ve really got to be good off the tee there,” Twombly said. “The greens, if you can put yourself in good spots, you can make a lot of birdies. I’m swinging it well right now, so if I can get the putter going, I think it can be a good week. I’ll just see where the golf ball takes me.”

Of the 42 groupings, 24 are professional, 15 are amateur and three are mixed. Winners will be crowned in professional, junior amateur, men’s amateur and women’s amateur divisions. The top professional pairing of Warren, Manuel and Dan Venezio is set to tee off at 8:50 a.m. Monday with the first group teeing off at 7:30.

One pairing in particular brings together golfers across generations. The 9 a.m. group features Eli Spaulding, who just graduated from Freeport High School, as well as Andrew Slattery and Mark Plummer. Plummer, 72, is a 13-time Maine Amateur champion, and Augusta is his home course.


“I’ve met him before, but I’ve never played with him, so I’m excited,” said Spaulding, who won three straight Class B titles for Freeport. “He’s won the most Maine Ams and played a U.S. Amateur against Tiger Woods back in (1995), and he knows that course well. It’ll be great to play with him and play with another good amateur in Andrew.”

Messalonskee’s Jacob Moody chips onto the 16th green during the Class A golf state championships Oct. 9 at Natanis Golf Course in Vassalboro. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel

Another recent graduate set to compete is Messalonskee’s Jake Moody, who will be playing in one of the three mixed groupings. His pairing consists of amateur Chris Kauppila, who recently competed for Husson in the Division III championships, and pro Dan Britt of Portland.

Moody is most looking forward to a multi-day tournament, something he said he hasn’t been able to do as much as he’d like. Being grouped with a professional and playing in a field full of them, the 2023 Class A state runner-up said, will be another perk of the experience.

“I’ve had some struggles with tournament golf recently, but if I can play my game and not get in my own head, I’ll be in a good spot,” Moody said. “It’ll be a three-day event if I make the cut, and I haven’t been able to play in a lot of multi-days, so that would be good. … Playing with a lot of pros is also something I haven’t really done, so I’m excited for that, too.”

Past Maine Open winners competing are John Hickson (2008), Warren (2004) and Jerry DiPhilippo. The event will also have a strong list of Maine Amateur champions competing between Manuel (2021-23), Warren (2006), Cole Anderson (2019-20) and Plummer (1973, 1976, 1982-84, 1986, 1989, 1994, 1996-97, 2000-02).

“I feel like it’s an honor to play in a field against such good players like that,” Twombly said. “To have the opportunity to do that is something you dream about as a kid, and I think it’ll help me become a better golfer. I can use competing against them to make my game better.”

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