Friday, December 6, 2013
VASSALBORO -- Every golfer in today's high school individual championships has played several rounds at Natanis Golf Course which hosts the tournament each year. But none have played more rounds there than Maranacook senior Luke Ruffing, who is a member and a daily fixture for most of the year.
Maranacook's Luke Ruffing is among the favorites to win the individual Class B title today at Natanis Golf Course in Vassalboro.
Staff photo by Joe Phelan
"The last three years I've probably logged the most rounds of most people there," he said in reference to his fellow members. "I've played a lot."
Ruffing finished runner-up for the Class B championship the past two seasons and obviously has his sights set on the top prize.
"This year I feel I'm a lot more prepared," he said. "I've been working a lot harder on my game."
Ruffing has concentrated primarily on his short game where championships are generally decided. He's capable of going low. He had a low round of 66 on June 25 on the same Tomahawk course he'll play today. And he was low man at the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference qualifier with 68.
The competition in Class B may be the strongest of all the three classes. Ruffing's foursome alone includes three others who could win it all, among them Maine Central Institute junior Gavin Dugas, who shot 74 in the team championships last week. Like Ruffing, Dugas played in several Maine State Golf Association events as well as out-of-state tournaments during the summer.
"He just doesn't really get nervous," MCI coach Paul Greco said. "He'll shoot 74 anywhere. He just has to get to that next level."
Also in Ruffing's foursome are Mt. View senior Erik Larrabee and Camden Hills' Daulton Wickenden. Larrabee shot 74 in qualifying while Wickenden shot 72 in both qualifying and team rounds at Natanis. Just ahead of that group is Cape Elizabeth junior Reese McFarlane, who is the defending Class B champion.
Also competing in Class B are freshmen Eric Dugas and Carter Pearl and senior Trevor Kitchin from MCI and Erskine senior Luke Atchison.
Winthrop junior Taylor Morang has thrust himself into the conversation for the Class C title. Morang shot 2-under 70 last week in the team competition which was his low career round and the low round of the day in any class.
"Everything was just falling," Morang said. "All of my putts were good. I was hitting the ball really well."
Also qualifying in Class C were junior Adam Hachey and freshman Zac Robertson of Winthrop, Ty Cowan and Jared Miller of Madison and Monmouth's Robert Vickerson.
In Class A, team champion Falmouth qualified five golfers but the low round of the day last week came from Bangor's Drew Powell, who shot 72. Locally, Messalonskee's Billy Rollins and Kalib Bernatchez qualified along with Cony's Ben Leet.
The schoolgirl championship will be contested on the Arrowhead course. Lincoln Academy's Bailey Plourde was low qualifier among KVAC participants at 82, a stroke ahead of Lawrence's Kelsie Dessent with 83. Also qualifying were Erskine's Ashley Chubbuck, Mt. View's Cassidy Gerrish and Madison's Allison Dean.
Gary Hawkins -- 621-5638