Lee Stoddard Wins 24th Maine State Dolphin Open
16 Sep 2017 at 04:53 | Published by: PatPenguin | Views: 6660 | News search
Boothbay, Maine, USA – Some would think that the course owner might have a leg up on others when it comes to playing a tournament on their miniature golf course but in the case of Lee Stoddard and the Maine State Dolphin Open he has always watched others take the crown of tournament champion. That changed this year as Lee captured the title, knocking off defending champion Pat Sheridan on September 9, 2017. » Final Results
The Maine State Dolphin Open, played for the 24th time on Stoddard’s Dolphin Mini Golf, is a one-day tournament consisting of eight total rounds, three in the morning, three in the afternoon and two under the lights. This format allows the players to experience changing course conditions throughout a late-summer New England day. This year the course conditions were further impacted by some rain that rolled in the night before the tournament after most players had gotten in their practice for the week, meaning the greens would be wet for the first few rounds in the morning.
The morning started off great for Sheridan as he posted a 32 in the first round and followed it up with a 36 and 31, making a 99 for the morning, one of the lowest three round scores seen in the tournament’s history. It placed him squarely in first place at lunchtime. However, that lead would be erased in the afternoon as Stoddard shot a 31, 35, 31 for a 97 and made up the entire deficit between him and Sheridan as they both ended round 6 with a 207, a full five strokes ahead of third place.
Another quick downpour came through during the dinner break leaving the course damp again for the final two rounds under the lights. Stoddard and Sheridan were the first to tee off in round 7 and it was a back and forth battle until the 13th hole. Stoddard aced the two-tier hole while Sheridan took a two and Sheridan’s lead was cut to one. Then disaster struck for Sheridan on the 14th hole, the Loop-de-loop, as two failed attempts to get through left Sheridan with a five, his worst hole of the tournament. With a two on that hole Stoddard jumped to a two stroke lead and would extend it by one more by the end of the 7th round.
In the final round the pairings are reversed and the top four go out in the last group. At this point Stoddard was in first, Sheridan second, John O’Leary third and Randy Rice fourth. Sheridan tried to put the pressure on Stoddard by acing the first two holes of the last round to Stoddard’s twos cutting the lead to just one stroke. However, Stoddard would recover and finish the round by pulling further away and easily winning the championship. Sheridan would fall to tie with O’Leary for second and would break the tie by winning the sudden-death playoff on the third playoff hole. For his efforts Stoddard would win $300.
The 25th anniversary of the tournament will be held on September 8, 2018 with the same eight round, one day, format.
Lee Stoddard - 278 ($300)
Pat Sheridan - 284 (3 hole playoff) ($200)
John O'Leary - 284 ($100)
Randy Rice - 286 ($50)
Mark "The Highlighter" Novicki - 287 ($50)