Reese McFarlane of Cape Elizabeth shows off the Harry B. McCraken Jr. Trophy after winning the New England Amateur Championship at Portland Country Club Thursday. Credit: David Colt

FALMOUTH, Maine — Reese McFarlane of Cape Elizabeth had been looking forward to his 21st birthday for quite some time, but never in his wildest dreams did he imagine that he would receive the greatest present of his life this week.

Two days after turning 21 years old, McFarlane — in front of a large gathering of friends, family and spectators at Portland Country Club Thursday — received the Harry B. McCracken Jr. Trophy, which is awarded to the winner of the New England Amateur Championship.

With his win, McFarlane becomes only the fifth player from Maine to win the New England Amateur Championship and the first in 24 years. He joins John Levinson (1936, ’37, ’47), John Sale (1969), Mark Plummer (1979, ’94) and Sean Gorgone (1991). He is also the first Maine golfer to win on home soil since Plummer in 1994 at Falmouth Country Club. Like McFarlane, Levinson won the first of his three titles at Portland CC.

“It definitely hasn’t sunk in yet,” McFarlane said. “I started to realize walking down the 18th what it was going to be like, but it still hasn’t hit me yet.”

It’s also the biggest victory for McFarlane, who is coming off his junior campaign at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.

“I can’t even remember the last time that I won, but I was probably 13 years old,” said McFarlane, who finished with a three-round score of 4-under par 206. “I felt like I could win the Maine Am and the New Am for a few years, but I have never really been able to get off to the right start and put all three rounds together.”

McFarlane delivered a wire-to-wire victory in Falmouth in what ended up being a 54-hole stroke play event held over three days. After play was suspended on day one (Tuesday) due to rain and unplayable conditions, the event was reduced from the originally scheduled 72 to 54 holes.

As a result, McFarlane — who had an afternoon starting time on day one — began his title pursuit Wednesday and delivered the low-round of the championship — a 5-under par 65. He was then able to back up his first-round performance with a round of 1-under par 69 that began Wednesday evening and was completed Thursday. He capped off his victory with a 2-over par 72 Thursday, which was good enough for a two-stroke win.

Drake Hull of Rutland Country Club (Vt.) finished second with a 208 total while Max Theodorakis of Ridgewood CC (Conn.), Evan Grenus of TPC River Highlands (Conn.) and Matthew Paradis of Concord CC (N.H.) finished tied for third at 209.

Two-time Maine Amateur champ Jack Wyman of South Freeport finished in a five-way tie for sixth with an even-par 210 while Drew Powell of Penobscot Valley CC in Orono was the next best Maine finisher with a five-way tie for 21st at 215.

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