Tuesday’s opening rounds of the MSGA Match Play Championship were brutal for top-ranked players.

Fulfilling the adage that anything can happen in head-to-head competition, No. 1 Ricky Jones and No. 2 Jack Wyman were the only amateurs among the top eight to earn a berth in Wednesday’s quarterfinals at Fox Ridge Golf Club in Auburn.

Past champion Joe Alvarez, seeded ninth, also advanced through the first two segments of the fourth-annual event.

There was no such good fortune for Mark Plummer, Andrew Slattery, Len Cole, Scott Weymouth, Brian Bilodeau or Curtis Jordan. Seeded third through eighth, respectively, all six were bounced Tuesday.

No. 3 Plummer, No. 6 Weymouth and No. 7 Bilodeau all went out in the morning round. No. 4 Slattery, a home course favorite, was shown the exit during the afternoon slate along with No. 5 Cole and No. 8 Jordan.

Jones, who won the stroke-play Maine Amateur at Augusta Country Club in July, encountered no major speed bumps in his section of the bracket.


Also a previous winner in the Maine Open when it was contested at Fox Ridge in 2006, Jones defeated Rocco Spizuoco, 4 and 3, in the opening round before receiving a test from local challenger Craig Chapman.

Chapman was 2-up through six holes before Jones won 7, 9, 10 and 12 to take command. He closed out the match on the 17th, 3 and 1.

Jones will face Alvarez in what should be an entertaining 7 a.m. Wednesday quarterfinal. Alvarez cruised past Malcolm Oliver, 4 and 3, before edging Jordan, an Auburn native now playing out of The Woodlands, in 19 holes.

Alvarez defeated Plummer at the inaugural match play tournament in 2010. It was contested at Augusta Country Club in Manchester for two years before moving to Natanis in Vassalboro a year ago.

Wyman turned away Thomas Murray 2 and 1 and Ashley Fifield 4 and 3 to set up a quarterfinal match with Joe Walp. Walp fought off No. 23 Peter Wright and No. 26 Scott Sirois, who knocked off Lewiston’s Cloutier earlier in the day.

Two young long shots also are ticketed to meet in the quarterfinals. No. 30 Reese McFarlane of Purpoodock Club in Cape Elizabeth stunned Plummer 4 and 3 and routed Jordan Jones 5 and 4. He’ll face No. 27 Luke Ruffing of Manchester, who outlasted Weymouth in 19 holes and Steve Lycette in 20.


Ruffing’s two sudden-death matches and the Alvarez playoff were the only clashes to go the full 18-hole distance on the day.

Mike Doran of Sable Oaks in South Portland won three of the final four holes to take out Slattery, 3 and 2, and earn a quarterfinal date with 2011 runner-up Matt Greenleaf. Cole was Greenleaf’s victim in the round of 16.

Wednesday is another 36-hole showcase, with the quarterfinal winners immediately moving on to the semis at noon.

The championship match is scheduled for Thursday at 7 a.m.

There is no defending champion in the field. Johnny Hayes IV is already away at college. Additionally, 2011 winner Ryan Gay turned pro earlier this summer and was ineligible for the tournament.


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