All that Will Kannegieser wanted was a chance to win the Maine State Golf Match Play Invitational Tournament Aug. 27-29 at Point Sebago.

“I was just hoping to get another opportunity,” he said, referring to his 2016 loss to Matt Hutchins in the Match Play Invitational final. “Today was that opportunity.”

Bill Kennedy, Golf Columnist

Aug. 29 was “today,” when Kannegieser made a birdie putt on the 22nd hole to capture his first MSGA major adult solo title, after having won the Mixed championship the past two years with his mother, Kristen Kannegieser. He also won Maine junior crowns 2013 and 2014.

To claim the Match Play Invitational, he defeated Caleb Manuel of Brunswick, the reigning Maine State Scholastic Champion out of Mt. Ararat High School, who held a two-hole lead with three to play.

“I stuck to my game plan, even though it looked pretty grim,” Kannegieser, of Minot, said.

That plan called for not gambling on shots along with irons off the tee, and when he sunk a long birdie putt on the 16th hole to cut that lead to just one, he saw some light at the end of the tunnel.

Unfortunately, his mother and father (Marc), were not in the gallery for their son’s greatest Maine moment of triumph. They were in New York City attending the U.S. Tennis Open.

This was the final Maine golf event of the 2019 season for Will Kannegieser, who is a senior at Williams College, where he is a member of the golf and ski teams, sports in which he competed successfully at Gould Academy, from which he graduated in 2015.

With his college graduation upcoming next spring, Kannegieser was asked about his future plans.

“I’m trying to keep my options open,” he said, but playing golf for financial purses is not one of them. “Pro golf, definitely no. I have seen first-hand what it takes and I don’t have it. I am not close to that level of consistency, but I respect people who try.”

Well said, by a clearly grounded young man.

*****

In all, 10 area players were in the Invitational field, but only two made it through the first day, with just one playing for the championship.

Kannegieser had topped Ricky Jones of Samoset Resort, 2&1 in the quarterfinal, before eliminating James Frost Jr. of Val Halla, 3&2, in the semifinal round.

Another Martindale player, Brian J. Bilodeau, suffered a devastating defeat at the hands of Mike Arsenault Jr. of Val Halla in a match which went 20 holes.

In second round matches, Ashley Field of Martindale was ousted by Joe Alvarez of Webhannet, 5&4, after beating Peter Wright of Biddeford-Saco, 3&1, in the opening round. Craig Chapman of Martindale was ousted by Forest, 3&1, after downing Garrett Olson of Brunswick 2-up in the first round.

Jeff Cole of Martindale lost to Bilodeau, 2-up, after he had overcome Mike McNaboe of Falmouth 2-up in the initial round. Andrew Slattery of Martindale lost to Kannegeiser, 1-up, after he had conquered Mike Doran of Brunswick, 6&5, in the opening round.

Four players were eliminated in their first match. Jace Pearson of Martindale lost 2&1 to Alvarez; Sokha Meas of Spring Meadows was eliminated by Tim Desmarais of Riverside, 3&2; Bob Langlois of Fox Ridge was edged by Jones, 1-up; and Timothy Doyle of Turner Highlands was beaten by Joe Hamilton of Biddeford-Saco, 2&1.

*****

Seven Mainers were among 21 qualifiers for the New England Senior Amateur Tournament Aug. 26 at Riverside.

Keith Patterson of Biddeford-Saco (73), Scott Mangiafico of York (74), Mike O’Brien of Biddeford-Saco (75), Zibby Puleio of Old Marsh (75), Cash Wiseman of Falmouth (76), Patrick Keeley of Woodlands (77) and Don Bellemare of Biddeford-Saco (77) will be in the Sept. 18-19 event at Biddeford-Saco.

*****

As we approach fall, the MSGA schedule tapers off in junior play only.

A Senior tour event is Sept. 3 at Purpoodock and the Weekend tour is Sept. 6-7 at Natanis.

On the women’s side, there are gross and net events Sept. 3 at Bath and Bangor Municipal.

Bill Kennedy, a retired New Jersey golf writer and editor, now residing on Thompson Lake in Otisfield, is in his seventh season as Sun Journal golf columnist.


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