Wyman Hangs on to Defend Title at 99th Maine Amateur
Jack Wyman (MSGA photo)
Jack Wyman (MSGA photo)

BELGRADE LAKES, ME (July 12, 2018) - After the last group finished play on the 10th hole during today’s final round in the Maine Amateur Championship, it looked like defending champion Jack Wyman was poised to coast to victory for the second straight year. At the time, Wyman was cruising along and had opened up a six shot lead over his overnight trailer Cole Anderson. However, after a stunning charge from Anderson over the rest of the back nine, Wyman held on and narrowly won his second consecutive Maine Amateur title by one stroke.

Wyman opened the tournament at Belgrade Lakes GC with back-to-back 68s, with his two-day total of 136 leading by one shot. He played steady early on in the final round, parring his first five holes before making birdie on the par-5 6th hole. When he arrived at the 7th tee, he was two up on Anderson, despite the 17year-old Camden player’s eagle on 6. Wyman had played the 7th hole in three over par over the first two days of the tournament, one of the few holes on the course that had given him trouble through the first rounds. This day, it was the hole that got Anderson tripped up.

After flying long with his approach into the par 4, Anderson struggled around the green and wound up with a triple-bogey 7. Wyman walked away with par and suddenly led by four shots. The lead grew to six after Anderson bogeys on 8 and 10. That’s when Anderson turned it on and made a run that eventually brought the showdown all the way to Belgrade’s 18th hole.

Anderson nearly holed a wedge on 12 that led to a tap in for birdie, then birdied 14 and 15 in succession. As Wyman continued to hit greens and make easy pars, Anderson had cut the lead to three as they arrived at the par 5 16th hole. Anderson hit his drive slightly off line and finished in the rough, where he was faced with a shot of 253 yards to a hole tucked in the back of the green behind a bunker. Where most others would lay up to comfortable wedge range, Anderson hit a towering 2-iron that covered the bunker and finished 8 feet from the hole.

The subsequent eagle putt just missed, and despite the missed chance for a rare eagle on 16, the lead was two with two to play. Both Wyman and Anderson parred 17 and went to 18 with Wyman still up two. Both players hit the green, and Wyman made it interesting after running his birdie putt 6 feet past the hole. Anderson, needing to make the tricky downhiller to have a chance, hit a wonderful putt that just missed, leaving him in disbelief before the crowded deck filled with spectators above.

Wyman then had two putts to win, and lagged his par put short of the hole for an easy tap-in, which led to his only bogey of the day. His final round 71 left him at 207 (-6) and one clear of Anderson for his second win in two years, successfully defending his title from Brunswick GC last year, making him the first defending champion since Ryan Gay in 2011.

Former champion John Hayes made a run at Wyman in the group ahead, turning in three-under par after four front nine birdies. He then bogeyed the first four holes on the back to effectively take himself out of contention. He made two late birdies in his round to shoot 70 to be the only player to break par in the difficult final round. Hayes was also the only player in the field to break par in every round of the championship. His rounds of 70-69-70 – 209 (-4) left him in solo third for the tournament.

Drew Powell played in the final pairing with Wyman and Anderson and shot 73. Powell never got things going but played steady golf in a round that included three birdies. The Brown University sophomore finished the tournament at 211 (-2) to finish in fourth place. 16 year-old Brunswick GC member Caleb Manuel finished in fifth place after three rounds left him at even par for the championship.

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ABOUT THE Maine Amateur

The Maine Amateur Championship is a 54-hole stroke play event. After the first two rounds, the field of 132 players is cut to the top 40 and ties who advance to the final round. Players must be members in good standing of an MSGA member club.

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