VASSALBORO, Maine — David Gushee and Ryan Gay must feel like each other’s shadow when it comes to high school golf bragging rights.
For the third straight year, Gorham’s Gushee and Gardiner’s Gay tied for the Class A individual state golf championship at Natanis Golf Course Saturday. Last year they each shot 74. This year, they both shot an even-par 72 — the low scores of the entire day — and still couldn’t avoid sharing the trophy.
The Maine Principals’ Association will have to send two second-place trophies back to the manufacturer to have the plaques redone as there was also a tie for first in Class C — between Shawn Keenan from Carrabec of North Anson and Tim Millett from North Yarmouth Academy. Both golfers shot 73. Coincidentally, it’s Keenan’s second straight shared title as he tied for first last year with Telstar of Bethel’s Kyle Maines at 77.
In Class B, Quinn Allen of Lake Region took top honors with a 75, while the girls individual champion was Pauline Schopp of Fryeburg Academy with a 79.
Allen said it was all about mental preparation.
“I wasn’t as nervous as I could have been, because I’ve had the experience and played in a lot of tournaments,” said Allen. “Plus golf is all about patience, going one shot at a time and one hole at a time.
“I don’t think about anything behind me. I missed a four-footer for birdie on 10 and then picked up a birdie three holes later.”
Allen started slow again Saturday with a par, bogey and bogey on his first three holes.
“My dad always tells me to just grind it out and do your best,” he said.
Allen and all the other golfers had to wait 90 minutes before they could even start play Saturday because the course was covered with early-morning frost.
“I thought about other things and got my mind off golf,” Allen said, when asked how he killed the time. “I’ve learned from many sports psychologists not to think too far ahead of myself and maybe just make small adjustments.”
Keenan and many others used the time to practice, and warm up.
“It was getting a little cold standing around on that tee box,” Keenan said. “I putted over near the 10th hole while I was waiting.”
Keenan, who struggled early in both the team tournament two weeks ago and again Saturday, wasn’t disappointed by having to share the title a second straight year.
“It was about the same as it was for the team championships. I stayed consistent all day. I made some birdies with my putts,” said Keenan, whose three Carrabec teammates are all female. “Once I get my putter going and get through the first couple holes, I get more relaxed and get into my own game.”
Keenan said his iron play was also unusually strong and accurate.
“My long irons were really good today. I think I hit maybe four drivers off the tee today,” he said.
Schopp, a native of Germany who shot a Friday practice round of 65 — seven strokes under par, still won by two strokes Saturday despite adding 14 strokes to that score.