Hurricane Dorian No Match for The Dolphin
12 Sep 2019 at 14:32 | Published by: PatPenguin | Views: 2509 | News search
Dolphin Top 7 - Justin Seymour in green (Photo by Dolphin Mini Golf)
Boothbay, Maine – It was a return to form for the Maine State Dolphin Open, now re-christened as the Lee Stoddard Dolphin Open, as the format went back to ten rounds over two days in 2019. Lee Stoddard, past winner and owner of Dolphin Mini Golf, passed away late in 2018 just months after the last tournament. Through the efforts of his widow and family, along with many in the New England miniature golf community, the tournament returned to the marathon format after 3 years of shortened events. It also saw the largest field it has in years, with 20 players from 5 states, including 4 past Dolphin champions, taking part in the event. » Dolphin Mini Golf
The original schedule was to have sets of 3-3-2 rounds on Saturday, with an additional 2 on Sunday morning, harkening back to an event that tried to showcase the changing conditions of New England Fall day spanning from 9am to 9pm. However, the outside edges of Hurricane Dorian just clipped the Maine coast, causing a 3-hour delay in the tournament and changing the format to 4-3 on Saturday and then 3 on Sunday.
It will never be known if the changing format had any direct impact on the results but one thing was for sure, Justin Seymour didn’t seem impacted at all. After the first four rounds in the early afternoon he found himself tied with 2016 Dolphin champion Pat Sheridan at 139, both of whom sat 3 strokes ahead of local longtime player Evan Goodkowsky. Seymour would never drop out of the top spot for the next 6 rounds, starting off with round five in the evening where he shot a 33 to Sheridan’s 36. He would finish the evening 2 ahead of Sheridan and 4 ahead of Josh Tiberio, another former Dolphin champion who made an evening surge with an impressive 34-34-32.
Seymour would pick up an extra stroke going into the final round on Sunday and it looked like he would be clear with the race being on for second place, which saw Sheridan 2 strokes ahead of Tiberio and 3 strokes ahead of another past winner Elmer Lawson. With the final foursome containing 3 past tournament winners, the question would be if Seymour could round out the day and become the 4th of that group or would the pressure from the champs crack him.
Justin putting on Hole 8 - Fisherman's House
There was a brief moment early in the final round where it looked like it might become close when Sheridan cut the lead to two with an ace on hole 4, prior to Seymour hitting. However, Seymour would ace that hole and then 3 of the next 4 holes to pull away from the pack. The charge for second would get as close as one stroke before Sheridan finished and the top 4 finished the way they entered the final round. The tournament paid to seven places this year.
“I was nervous starting that final round,” Seymour said, reflecting on his win, “then I hit those aces and felt pretty confident the rest of the way.”
Next year will mark the 30th anniversary of Dolphin Mini Golf and Nancy Stoddard has already announced that the weekend of September 12 & 13, 2020 will see the next running of the Lee Stoddard Dolphin Open. This year, and expected for subsequent years, a portion of the entry fees along with other donations will go to a new scholarship to a vocation school in Lee's name. In the past, the tournament has supported Shriner's Hospital having raised over $100,000 over the years. As of the time of this article, over $1,600 has been raised for the scholarship and if you would like to donate please reach out to Dolphin Mini Golf.
Justin Seymour – 347 ($500)
Pat Sheridan – 351 ($150)
Josh Tiberio - 353 ($125)
Elmer Lawson – 355 ($75)
Mark “Highlighter” Novicki – 357 ($50)
Randy Rice – 366 ($50)
Evan Goodkowsky - 367 ($50)
» Final Results