Monday’s heat and humidity and four bogies didn’t prevent Old Town teenager Chris Kauppila from setting the course record at the Hidden Meadows Golf Course in Old Town.
The 17-year-old Kauppila fired a three-under par 68 to break the previous record, which was set by Connor Morey in 2016, by one stroke.
Kauppila, the reigning Penobscot Valley Conference Class B Player of the Year, registered an eagle, five birdies and eight pars to go with his four bogies.
He began his round eagle-birdie, made bogies on number four and number seven, and finished the front nine with a birdie on the ninth hole for a three-under par 33.
On the back nine, he notched birdies on 12 and 16, and bogies on 15 and 17 for an even-par 35.
He said starting the day eagle-birdie was “big.”
“On the par five first hole, I put it on (the green) in two and sank something like a 15-foot putt for eagle. I sank a 20-footer for birdie on the second,” Kauppila said. “After that, I thought I was probably going to have a good day.
“I made a couple of nice putts. I sank a 40-foot putt for birdie on 16. It was nice. It was fun. I knew what the course record was and, in the back of my mind, I wanted to break it. It felt good to be able to do it.”
It was part of a Junior Tour stop, which was put together by Barnes Brook Golf Course pro Mike Clendenning, according to Joe Perdue, the head pro at Hidden Meadows.
Kauppila won the tournament.
It has been a good season for Kauppila, who qualified for his first Maine Amateur Golf Tournament by shooting a 77 at the Waterville Country Club eight days ago.
“The top 23 qualified and I think I finished 10th,” said Kauppila, who plays in Maine State Golf Association Junior tournaments as well as Clendenning’s tour for junior golfers in northern and eastern Maine.
The 99th Maine Amateur will be held at Belgrade Lakes Golf Club July 10-12.
“I played (Belgrade Lakes) in a Junior Tournament. It’s nice; it’s really scenic,” Kauppila said. “It’s a beautiful course. It’s tough. The greens are really tricky. They’re pretty fast.”
“I’ve got to work on my putting. It really helps to roll your putts up close there,” said Kauppila, who won the Hidden Meadows club championship by 14 strokes as a 16-year-old last year with a two-round five-over par 147.
Kauppila credited his grandfather, Bob Cust, a longtime Hidden Meadows member, for getting him started in golf. He took golf lessons and began playing seriously when he was 12.
He was home-schooled and played for Perdue at Old Town High for four years, developing into the No. 1 player his junior and senior years.
“Chris eats, lives and breathes golf,” Perdue said. “He is driven. He works awfully hard on his game.
“He can drive it 280-285 yards. His strength is he is such a good putter. And you won’t meet a nicer kid. He’s very polite.”
Kauppila said Perdue has had an important role in his success.
“He’s a great coach. He has helped me out a lot,” Kauppila said.
Kauppila set the record playing the course as an 18-hole set-up, green tees for his front nine (3,177 yards) and the white tees for his back nine (2,891 yards). There has not been a course record posted for the senior tees (white-gold) or for the women’s tees (gold-red).
Perdue holds the course record for the men’s original layout with a 66 (June 2010). Staci Creech holes the course record for the women’s original layout with 71 (June 2015).
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