OAKLAND, ME – The 2022 Maine Mid-Amateur Championship provided drama for the second straight day at Waterville CC, and the tournament came down to the last hole to determine a winner. When the dust settled, Ronald Kelton (Purpoodock Club) parred the final hole for his second consecutive round of 68 to win by one stroke over Jeff Cole (Brunswick GC) and Kevin Byrne (Waterville CC).
Kelton, a former professional who recently got his amateur status back last year, played steady through the day to win his first Maine Golf championship. The 34-year old from Cape Elizabeth bogeyed his second hole of the day, but that proved to be his last dropped shot of the tournament. With birdies on 6, 9, and 12 he outlasted the overnight leader Cole and a charging Byrne ahead of him to shoot his second round of 68 in two days for a score 136 (-4).
Cole, the overnight leader after an opening 65, went out in even par with two birdies and two bogeys, but couldn’t catch Kelton down the stretch. Shooting two over on the back nine, Cole finished with a second round 72 for a two-day total of 137 (-3).
Finishing tied for second was host club member Kevin Byrne, who played a bogey-free round of 65 to match Cole with the low round of the championship. Byrne made five birdies on his day and made a run at the title down the stretch. Despite starting the day seven strokes behind the lead, after his fifth birdie of the day on 16 he was just one shot back. He hit a wedge to four feet above the hole and 18 and narrowly missed his birdie putt for 64 to post 136.
Two-time Mid-Amateur champion John Hayes (Purpoodock Club) fired 69 in the second round to post 139 (-1) and finish fourth. Scott Nevers (Val Halla GC) shot 67 to jump up the leaderboard and shoot even par for the tournament to round out the top five.
In addition to the overall championship, there were a few exemptions available into next month’s Maine Amateur Championship. The top 5 non-exempt players (and ties) earned a spot at Webhannet GC for the Amateur on July 12-14. Those exemptions went to Kelton, Byrne, Nevers, Jeff Holmes (The Woodlands Club), Ashley Fifield (Martindale CC), and Len Cole (Falmouth CC).