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Presque Isle’s Michaud makes cut at Maine Amateur Golf Championship

Presque Isle’s Ralph Michaud followed his score of 75 on Tuesday by carding a 74 Wednesday, guaranteeing a spot in Thursday’s final round of the 99th Maine Amateur Golf Championship at Belgrade Lakes Golf Club in Belgrade.

Michaud is in 22nd place and in a five-way tie in a group that includes 13-time tourney champion Mark Plummer of Manchester.

The leader after two rounds is defending champ Jack Wyman of South Freeport, who is six under par for the tournament. He came in at 3 under par 68 Wednesday to overtake first-round leader Cole Anderson of Camden, who shot even par 71 to remain at five under.

The 57-year-old Michaud is currently 7 over par and is 13 strokes behind Wyman, but by finishing within the top 40 in the field of 132 made the cut to participate in Thursday’s final round. As a result, he is guaranteed a spot in next year’s Maine Amateur, the 100th, at Portland Country Club.

On Wednesday, Michaud was an impressive 1 under par through seven holes. On the par-5 third hole, he saved par with an up-and-down from 125 yards after shooting into a hazard on his second shot and taking a penalty drop. He went on to make birdie on the 510-yard par 5 sixth hole.

“That [save] seemed to keep me focused,” Michaud said.

A bogey on No. 8 leveled his score back to even par at the turn. On the back nine, he bogeyed the 11th, 12th and 17th holes, but parred the other six to finish with a 74.

“It was a grind and was mentally draining,” Michaud said, “but it’s pretty exciting that I won’t have to go through qualifying next year.”

Michaud was scheduled to tee off for the final round at 8:20 a.m. Thursday.

Michaud, a member at Presque Isle Country Club and Aroostook Valley Country Club, had earned a spot in this week’s event by placing sixth in a qualifying tournament held at Waterville Country Club June 25.

This is the sixth time in his career that he has competed in the Maine Amateur. His previous best finish and the only other time he made the cut was in 2013, when he finished in the top 17.

Michaud is a three-time Cary Classic Tournament champion and has won the Spudland Open twice, the Maine Potato Blossom Festival Tournament twice and the McCain’s Open once. He has racked up 26 club championships at PICC and AVCC.

Michaud is a physical education teacher at Mapleton Elementary School and is set to begin his 35th year in education this fall. He serves as both the girls’ varsity soccer coach and girls’ assistant varsity basketball coach at Presque Isle High School.

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