Sam Grindle (L) is the 2017 Maine Match Play champion
OAKLAND, ME (August 17, 2017) - Sam Grindle (Island CC) has had an entire month to think back on what could have been at the Maine Amateur Championship at Brunswick GC in July. The 22-year-old from Deer Isle was near the lead on the final nine holes at the Amateur, but eventually had to settle for the runner-up after losing by two strokes to Jack Wyman. Grindle had his chance at redemption today at Waterville CC as the two squared off in the finals of the 2017 Match Play Invitational. He took full advantage, beating Wyman by a score of 3&2 to claim his first Maine major title.
Due to the duo's 1-2 finish in the Amateur they were the one and two seeds in this year's Match Play bracket. For the first time in the event's history, both top seeds advanced to the final match, setting up another showdown a month removed from the Amateur.
Grindle came out firing early, birdieing three of his first five holes. Wyman made two of his own, so despite being three under early in the round, Grindle only held a 1 up lead. The two each made a bogey to lose a hole on 7 and 8, and after they exchanged pars on 9, Grindle went to the back nine 1 up. Both players parred holes 10-14 to keep the match tight. Wyman made bogey on 15 to fall 2 down, and when Grindle made a birdie on the long downhill par-3 16th hole, the match was over. The 3&2 win for Grindle ended what's been an amazing summer for Wyman in which he's won far more than he's lost.
Day Two Notes:
The final match is set for the 2017 Match Play Invitational, and if the two players that still remain look familiar it's for good reason. At last month's Maine Amateur Championship at Brunswick GC, Jack Wyman outlasted Sam Grindle to win the title. Their 1-2 finish at the Amateur earned the two players the top two seeds at this week's event, and both players proved they earned those top seedings in the always-talented field of players.
Wyman cruised to an easy 7&6 victory over Craig Chapman in his semifinal match to earn his first berth in the Match Play finals. In addition to winning the Amateur, Wyman also earned low amateur at the Charlie's Maine Open and is fresh off winning the club championship at his home Portland CC. It's been an incredible summer that can only get better tomorrow.
Grindle beat Joe Baker by a score of 3&2 in the semifinal to reach tomorrow's final match. The young man from Deer Isle has been a mainstay on the leaderboard at the last five Maine Amateurs but is still looking for his breakthrough win on the Maine scene.
The two will tee off tomorrow morning on the immaculate Waterville CC course at 7:30.
Jack Wyman continued with the fine play he's had this summer, beating a charging Lance Bernier 1 up in the first quarterfinal match this morning. Bernier made a late charge on the back nine on the defending Maine Amateur champion, but Wyman birdied 18 for the second straight match to win by a 1 up margin.
Wyman will face Craig Chapman in the afternoon semifinal today, as Chapman beat Tim Desmarais 3&2. This marks the second straight year Chapman has reached the semifinals.
In the morning's third match, Sam Grindle played flawless golf, making three birdies against no bogeys to beat Andrew Slattery by a margin of 3&2.
In the final match of the morning Joe Baker and fellow Martindale member Will Kannegieser had a match that was all square before Baker won the last two holes to secure a 2 up win.
The afternoon's semifinal matches are now set. Hole-by-hole scoring will be available throughout the matches.
Day One Notes:
It was a long and exciting day for the first two rounds of the 2017 Match Play Invitational at Waterville CC. At the start of the day, 32 of the top amateur golfers in Maine teed it up in a single elimination match play bracket, and by day's end only eight remained and will return tomorrow for the quarterfinal matches.
After the morning matches concluded, the afternoon round of 16 proved to be especially trying for the players, as seven of the eight matches went all 18 holes. Five of those matches went extra holes to settle the score, a record for this event.
Though there are many stories of note from the chaotic first day, one that stands out is that Andrew Slattery (Sable Oaks GC) certainly got his money's worth today, winning his first round match over Keith Patterson (Biddeford-Saco CC) in 24 holes, only to have to go 23 holes in the afternoon against Gavin Dugas (JW Parks GC). The 24 hole match tied the longest in Match Play history, and the 47 holes played set the new record for most holes in a day. Slattery will face Maine Amateur runner-up Sam Grindle (Island CC) in the third round.
View results for Maine Match Play
ABOUT THE Maine Match Play
The Match Play Championship is an invitational-only
event. The field is determined by the top 16
from the year's Maine Amateur Championship. The
remainder of the field will be determined by the top
from the Player of the Year race, which concludes at
the end of July. All entrants must be members of
at an MSGA club, have a current MSGA membership,
and a valid USGA Handicap. Format is a round of 32
match play bracket.
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