Pro golf tournament returns to Falmouth Country Club next week

Pro golf tournament returns to Falmouth Country Club next week


Pro golf tournament returns to Falmouth Country Club next week

Chad Ramey, winner of the inaugural Live and Work in Maine Open last year, autographs golf balls and hats for children after his victory at Falmouth Country Club. Ramey won his first PGA Tour event earlier this year. Brianna Soukup/Portland Press Herald

Many of the best professional golfers you’ve never heard of are coming to Maine.

The Korn Ferry Tour – the most direct route to the PGA Tour – returns to Falmouth Country Club next week for the second annual Live and Work In Maine Open, the 18th of 23 regular-season tour stops. The first round is Thursday with a field of 156 players expected. The tournament concludes Sunday, June 26.

All net proceeds benefit the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital. Last year a donation of $108,000 was made to the hospital. This year’s goal is $135,000 – the equivalent of the winner’s share of the $750,000 total purse.

While players like Carl Yuan, MJ Daffue, Erik Barnes, Harry Hall and Robby Shelton are not yet household names for casual golf fans, they have either already cinched or soon will one of the 25 PGA Tour cards awarded at the end of the regular- season.

Scottie Scheffler, the No. 1 player in the world, was on the Korn Ferry Tour in 2019,” said pro-bono tournament director Brian Corcoran, the CEO of Shamrock Sports. “It’s not going to be five years from now. You’re going to hear about a number of these guys next year.”

For example, Chad Ramey won the inaugural Live and Work in Maine Open with a four-round score of 16-under on the par 71 course that was stretched to over 7,300 yards for the pros. It was the first professional win for Ramey, 29, who wound up fourth in the standings. Three months ago, Ramey won on the PGA Tour at the Corales Puntacana Championship in the Dominican Republic – guaranteeing a two-year PGA Tour exemption.

A year ago, Cameron Young tied for fifth at the Live and Work in Maine Open, which helped secure a top 25 year-end finish on the Korn Ferry Tour. This year Young has earned over $4.2 million on the PGA Tour and sits 16th in the FedEx Cup points list.

Yuan, of China, leads the current Korn Ferry Tour Standings. The former University of Washington player is one of seven players who have already crossed the KFT’s “fail-safe” threshold of 875 points to assure they will get a PGA Tour card. So have Daffue of South Africa and Barnes, 34, who was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan, lives in Alabama and has played on the Korn Ferry Tour since 2014. Barnes tied for 25th last year in Maine. Those three are on the Live and Work in Maine Open entry list as of Friday evening.

Players like Englishman Harry Hall, who missed the cut at Falmouth last year, former PGA regular Shelton and Brent Grant are trying to wrap up their top 25 slot and are likely to attend next week’s event. Grant was tied for the lead after the first round last year and finished tied for 20th.

Another sub-plot at each Korn Ferry event, especially as the season winds down, is who makes a charge to get into the top 75. Only the top 75 retain their Korn Ferry Tour exempt status.

Single-day tickets for $20 and full-tournament passes for $60 are available, both online as well as at over 30 golf courses that are participating in the new Drive Fore Kids program. Revenue derived from Drive Fore Kids admission wrist band purchases will be split 50-50 between the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital and the specific high school golf team that uses the course where the purchase was made.

The decision to offer the tournament’s two sponsor already paid exemptions to standout Maine collegiate golfers Cole Anderson of Camden (Florida State) and Caleb Manuel of Topsham (Connecticut) has off with a surge in ticket sales from their communities, Corcoran said.

There is very limited, VIP-only parking on site. There are two primary options to get to the course: use Amtrak Downeaster rail that will deposit riders near the 16th green, or to drive to Cumberland Fairgrounds, park for free, and take a shuttle bus to the golf course. Shuttles will run every 15 minutes from 6 am to 8 pm More specific details on parking and what is and isn’t allowed on the course are available at themaineopen.com/info.html.


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