BANGOR, Maine —- John Hayes IV of Cape Elizabeth considers the Downeast Metro Amateur Golf Tournament to be his favorite.
“I get to hang out with my buddies in Bar Harbor. It’s always a blast,” he said.
This weekend’s tournament will be even more memorable because Hayes won the third annual tournament, overcoming sweltering heat and a blustery wind to fire a one-under par 70 at the Bangor Municipal Golf Course and record a two-day total of one-over par 142.
Hayes, who shot a two-over par 72 at the Kebo Valley Club in Bar Harbor on Saturday, edged Lincoln’s Lance Bernier by one shot. Bernier, who teed off three hours earlier than Hayes on Sunday at 7:40 a.m. after shooting a 77 at Kebo on Saturday, registered a blistering five-under par 66 on Sunday.
Bernier’s 66 was the best round of the tournament.
Former Maine Amateur champion Andrew Slattery of West Minot finished third at 144. He shot a 69 on Sunday to go with Saturday’s 75.
Recent Maine Central Institute graduate Eric Dugas of Pittsfield, who will join older brother Gavin and play for their father, Mike, at Bangor’s Husson University in the fall, wound up fourth after shooting a 74-71-145.
Two-time Paul Bunyan Amateur Golf Tournament winner Sam Grindle of Deer Isle was fifth with a 75-71-146.
Defending champ Gavin Dugas of Pittsfield and Yarmouth native and 2015 Downeast Metro titlist Matt Greenleaf tied for 15th at 152.
The 27-year-old Hayes, who played golf at the University of Colorado, knew he needed to birdie the 455-yard par-five 18th hole to win the tournament outright.
He drove it in the fairway and his approach shot landed on the side of a little hill, just off the sloping green.
He lagged his putt to within five feet and then knocked in his birdie putt to win it.
“I misread the [first] putt completely,” said Hayes. “I thought it was going to go left to right but it went right to left. Luckily, I made [the birdie putt].”
He said his clinching putt was “pretty straight.
“I just hit it hard and just tried to block all the pressure and everything out…all the bad thoughts,” said Hayes.
He said his round got off to a positive start as he saved par with a 20-foot putt on the first hole after “missing the green from 20 yards. I duffed my chip. That was huge.”
Hayes had four birdies and three bogeys on his round.
“I hit it great off the tee all day,” he said. “I missed it in the right spots. I had easy chips and got it close to the hole.
“I tried to make as many birdies as I could. I didn’t make that many but I stayed around par or one-under and I made the putts I needed to make coming in,” Hayes said.
The 25-year-old Bernier, who used to play for Husson University and is the son of former University of Maine baseball standout Kevin Bernier, had eight birdies, including four in a row at holes four, five, six and seven, and three bogeys.
“I played very well. I had a good day. It was nice to see some long putts go in, finally,” said Bernier, who works at the Boothbay Harbor Country Club. “I think this is my best round here and one of my best tournament rounds ever.”
However, he also pointed out one critical miss, a tap-in from about one foot on the ninth hole.
“It goes to show how important each shot is. But I made some long ones so it all works out,” said Bernier.
The other winners were Ralph Michaud (B flight, 79-72-151), Jeff Vanidestine (C flight, 75-83-158) and Fred Andrews (D flight, 77-93-170) along with Carrie Langevin (women’s division, 84-83-167).
There were 135 players.