OAKLAND, Maine — Mark Plummer proved why he's won 13 Maine Amateur titles Wednesday as he had the low round of the day — an impressive 67 -— to pull within two of first-day leader Johnny Hayes.
But Hayes answered with a pretty impressive round himself — a one-under 69 — to head into Thursday's final round with a two-shot lead. Hayes sits atop the leaderboard at 134 while Plummer is at 136. Sam Grindle, who paired yesterday's 69 with an even-par 70 today, will complete tomorrow's final pairing in what promises to be a classic showdown. The group will tee off at 10 a.m. EDT sharp.
Plummer was on fire to start the round, birdieing the first three holes and adding a fourth birdie on seven to turn with a blistering 32. The only holes to give him trouble were the two par 3s on the back, 13 and 16, both of which he bogeyed before bouncing back with a final birdie on 17 for the 67. Only he and Hayes, a former junior standout and the 2012 Match Play champion, were under par for both of the first two rounds.
Malcolm Oliver started the morning off right with the day's second low score at 68 to finish in a tie for sixth with Maine Senior Amateur champion Lowell Watson. The two are at 144.
Oliver will join Joe Walp and Ricky Jones in the 9:50 group tomorrow as they try to close ground on the leaders. Walp in in fourth with 142 while three-time champ Ricky Jones is at 143.
Luke Ruffing and Neil Lyons will join Watson in the 9:40 group. Lyons, who had a late tee time on Wednesday, moved atop the leaderboard with a solid 71, putting him at 145, a shot ahead of Ruffing.
Tied with Ruffing at 146 is Mike Doran while will play tomorrow with Brian Angis and Lance Bernier, both at 148.
A total of 46 players advanced for tomorrow's final round, which starts at 7:30 am.
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