After shooting 1-over-par through the opening two days of the McDonalds Spring Qualifying School, the 38-year-old native of Kitchener, ON has been on fire. He carded a tournament-low 64 in Round 3 and followed it up with a 70 Thursday at The Dunes at Kamloops for a four-day total of 279 and a share of the lead with Andy Johnson (Orlando, FL) heading into Fridays final stage.
Mark Wilson (Kincardine, ON), who led the pack entering fourth-round play, fired a 73 and sits one shot back along with Liam Bond of Wales. Michael Chavez of Santa Barbara, CA is two strokes off the pace.
Eleven Canadians survived the cut and will be among the 63 hopefuls who will compete for 15 exempt and a minimum of 10 conditional cards at The Dunes Friday.
Among those within striking distance of the leaders is Dean Kennedy of Vancouver, who sits in a tie for ninth at 284, and Calgarys Brent Osachoff, nine shots behind Maue and Johnson. Former U.S. amateur standout Steve Scott is in a three-way tie for sixth.
Maue, who toiled on the Canadian Tour in 1998 and 1999 with his best finish being a tie for ninth at the 98 Bayer Championship, seems poised on making a return to the professional ranks after a one year hiatus.
On Thursday, he struggled to a bogey on his opening hole before burying birdies on Nos. 3, 8 and 9. But it was an unlikely bogey-save on the 422-yard, par-4 12th hole that he may have been his shot of the day.
In trouble right from the start when his tee shot found six-inch deep rough, Maue struggled to get on the green in four and was faced with an ominous 10-foot downhill bogey putt. His putter, which has come through for him all week, found its mark again.
There is a big difference between a bogey and a double bogey at this level, and that was a big shot for me, conceded Maue, who credits a better outlook with changing his fortune.
Anyone here can shoot a 64 on any given day...most of these guys have done it at one time or another. Ive been working a lot on my mental attitude, and it has helped me a lot. Nothing bothers me now.
After spending the last couple of years working at his familys sporting goods store, often getting to work an hour early to practice his putting on the store carpet, Maue is ready to make a return to the Tour. Canadian legend Moe Norman gave Maue some advice two years ago, something the 60, 210-pounder says he carries with him onto the tee every day.
Moe told me to just go out and pretend I am the only one on the course. I havent seen any obstacles out there all week, just some beautiful scenery and those mountains. I dont let any outside distractions get to me. Moe has taught me a lot over the years, but that little piece of advice may have helped me the most.
And, despite the new laid-back demeanor, will he look at Friday's final round the same way, with a ticket to the Canadian Tour in the balance?
Its just another day, he says. Ill get up and go play another round of golf. Nothing will be any different.
If the past 48 hours is any indication, somehow you have to believe that is exactly what he is thinking.