YORK — Matt Hutchins finished the Maine Amateur Championship with a dominating round of 5-under-par 65 Thursday at York Golf & Tennis Club, winning the tournament by six strokes.

His path to the championship began last fall, but he didn’t have much say in the matter. His family returned to Maine after 12 years living in Massachusetts.

“My parents made that decision,” Hutchins said. “They decided to move back last fall.”

Youth made its mark on the 97th Maine Amateur golf tournament this week.

The 19-year-old Hutchins, based at The Woodlands Club, completed the three-day tournament with score of 6-under 204, the only player to finish under par.

This week’s Maine Amateur was Hutchins’ first Maine State Golf Association event, so he’s kind of a surprise winner. But not to a couple of other 19-year-olds, Martindale Country Club’s Will Kannegieser and Purpoodock Club’s Reese McFarlane. They’ve played in tournaments with Hutchins and were already aware of his abilities.


“I’ve played in a few tournaments with Matt,” Kannegieser said. “He’s a great player and I honestly expected, after having played with him at Poland (Spring) in the qualifier, that he was the favorite.

“If you look at his record, I think he was second in the Mass Open and second in the New England Open against guys who are playing in the PGA championship and U.S. Open, and so to not call him the favorite would be a little bit ludicrous, actually.

“He was the guy to beat coming into this week, even though a lot of people probably didn’t know it.”

Hutchins actually was second at the New England Open and finished third at the Massachusetts Open.

He played Thursday’s final round with three-time Maine Am champion Ricky Jones, the second-round leader, and Martindale’s Joe Baker, the first-round leader.

Hutchins, of The Woodland Club, was unfazed by the veterans.


“I’ve played in a lot of big tournaments and a lot of awesome events,” Hutchins said, “and I just used that experienced that I experienced in the past – especially at nationals, we made it to the final match.”

As a freshman, Hutchins helped Chico State place second at the NCAA Division II Championships earlier this year. He’s moving on to play at UCLA next season.

Baker and Jones each held a lead in the first seven holes before Hutchins overtook them with an eagle on the par-5 eighth hole. His lead became two scores after nine and three strokes after 10. Birdies on Nos. 15 and 17 added a few more strokes to his lead.

“Obviously, he had the credentials coming in,” Jones said. “He finished second at the New England Open, second in whatever else, and he’s going to UCLA, so he’s got to have some game to do that.”

Jones finished at even par to place second and Baker was third and 1-over.

Kannegieser finished tied for 16th at 10-over after entering the final round tied for eighth at 5-over.


“You know, I was happy. I didn’t make the cut last year, so making the cut this year felt nice, to be back in it,” he said.

“I did not play well today. I didn’t strike the ball nearly as well as I had been the last couple days. But I ground it out and I was proud of that, and hopefully eventually I can put some good ball striking together with the way I putted today, because I putted great.”

McFarlane wasn’t as proud of his work on the greens.

“I couldn’t get the putts to fall,” he said.

McFarlane finished tied for 26th at 13-over. But his second round score of 10-over 80, which nearly caused him to miss the cut, was sandwiched by quality rounds of 71 and 72.

After McFarlane’s round ended, he followed the leaders until the final home. He gained confidence from seeing Hutchins’ convincing win.


“It was really cool. We grew up playing junior golf together, so it’s always fun to watch one of your buddies play well,” McFarlane said.

“It’s definitely reassuring to seeing a kid my age go out and play well.”

For both Kannegieser and McFarlane, it was one bad round that prevented them from finishing much higher on the leader board. But they showed there is more to come from the up-and-comers.

“There was a lot of good numbers today. A lot of the players are young. That’s the future in this, here: young guys,” Baker said. “Ricky’s always there; he’s still got it. But the rest of them are pretty young.”

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