MCJGA golfers make their rounds at Goose RiverLong, Plourde, Hilchey top divisions; Wickenden has eventful summer on links
Rockport — The Midcoast Junior Golf Association's summer tour of area courses is heading down the home stretch, with the championships slated for later this month at the Rockland Golf Club.
In the meantime, young golfers played Goose River Golf Course in Rockport July 29. When the final putts were sunk, Drew Long of West Rockport had finished first in Division I, Bailey Plourde of Newcastle atop Division 2 and Parker Hilchey of St. George in the lead position in Division 3.
The young golfers played nine holes. Midcoast junior golfers represent towns, cities and clubs in Knox, Waldo and Lincoln counties. The next regular-season tourney will be Sunday, Aug. 12 at 2 p.m. at Megunticook Golf Club in Rockport.
Alex Plummer from the MCJGA said the youngsters in the organization range from ages 8 to 18, and the divisions are based on past performance and ability, but usually fall into these categories: ages 8-11, Division 3; ages 12-14, Division 2; and ages 15-18, Division 1. Golfers can move up or down the divisions during the summer depending on their level of play.
One junior golfer who has had an especially eventful summer is Daulton Wickenden, who is one of the top Midcoast amateur players, regardless of age. Wickenden, who won the Rockland and Goose River club championship last summer, also owns a piece of course records at Goose River.
He has tied the 18-hole Goose River record of 69 four times and shot the course record of 32 for the back nine holes (par 36) this summer. The old course record for 18 holes was 68, when the course was a par-71, but it now is a par-72.
Wickenden, who said he has been a little off his overall "A" game this summer, also got the opportunity to caddy for the winner of the Maine Amateur Championship, which concluded July 12 at Sunday River Golf Club in Bethel.
When he was unavailable to qualify to play in the event, Wickenden decided to caddy for his friend, Seth Sweet, who plays out of Lakewood Golf Club in Madison. Sweet, a former Madison High School player, held on to win with 70-70-79—219.
"The last day he was a little nervous," Wickenden said. Ricky Jones of Thomaston, a multi-time winner of the tourney, finished tied for second at 76-73-73—222.
"It was a lot of fun," said the 15-year-old Rockport resident of caddying in the prestigious tourney. "I figured I would want to be up there hitting the shots, but it was fun to tell him what type of ball flight to hit and he would hit it. And be able to talk to him and see what he was thinking, especially the last day. To see what was going through his head and sort of calm him down and help him relax."
The 5-foot 11-inch, 150-pound Wickenden, who will be a Camden Hills Regional High School sophomore, said it was strange caddying for the first time, especially having played in prestigious tourneys and being the one to have to make a shot. But Wickenden grew to love his new role.
"He would tell me what he was thinking and I would sort of confirm it to give him a little confidence with it," Wickenden said of his course communication with Swett. "Then I would help him with putting."
Wickenden, who plays out of Goose River and the Samoset Resort, said he is looking forward to the upcoming fall high school golf season. "I think we should do pretty good," said the Windjammers' number one player.
The results from the July 29 MCJGA tourney at Goose River were:
Division 1 — Long, 39; Wickenden, 40; Drew Holt, 43; Eddie Socker, 45; and Cole Anderson, 50. For the tourney, Long gathered 100 championship points, Wickenden 90, Holt 80, Socker 70 and Anderson 60.
Division 2 — Plourde, 42; Darren Wood, 47; Grant Helfer, 50; Austin Charkowitz, 52; Ryan Lawrence, 55; and Emily Long, 56. For the tourney, Plourde gathered 50 championship points; Wood, 45; Helfer, 40, Charkowitz, 35, Lawrence 30; and Long, 25.
Division 3 — Hilchey, 55; Hayden Christie, 57; Grace O'Connell, 57; Austin Chilles, 67; and Kate Knauer, 83. For the tourney, Hilchey collected 50 championship points; Christie, 45; O'Connell, 40; Chilles, 35; and Knauer, 30.
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