SeeGRAY — The top six seeds in the Maine State Golf Association’s Match Play Invitational at Spring Meadows have all advanced to the quarterfinal round.

Portland Country Club’s Will Kannegieser follows through on his drive off the 10th tee at Spring Meadows Golf Club in Gray during the first round of the 2020 Match Play Invitational. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

For a couple of the players, Tuesday was the first time they have played the course, such as No. 1 seed John Hayes, who managed to get through to the second day after he held off the No. 32 seed Jason Macdonald in the first round. Hayes won 2&1, then defeated Craig Chapman in the second round, also by a score of 2&1.

“If it was a stroke play (tournament), I would do a practice round, but match play is hopefully play well in the first round and see the course,” Hayes said.

Hayes’ opponent in Wednesday’s quarterfinals in Judd Parsons, who also had never played the course prior to Tuesday. The No. 9 seed defeated The No. 24 seed Parker Hilchey in the first round, 7&6, and defeated the No. 8 seed Logan Thompson in the second round, 2&1.

“It’s a great match play golf course, actually, because there are some risk-reward shots,” Parsons said. “It’s a little funky off the tee, but hopefully after tomorrow, after knowing the clubs to hit, it will be a little easier.”

The turning point for Hayes in his match against Chapman was on the par-5 15th hole, when it looked like Chapman had a chance to even the match. Hayes had to take a drop after his second shot and Chapman was in the greenside bunker after his third. Hayes used a 60-degree wedge from 80 yards out for his fourth shot and knocked it stiff and Chapman gave Hayes his par. Chapman couldn’t save his par after getting out of the bunker and Hayes went to the par-3 16th hole with a 2-up lead and didn’t relinquish it.

“The momentum definitely shifted there,” Hayes added.

Jace Pearson, of Martindale Country Club, watches his putt on the 9th green roll just wide of the cup at Spring Meadows Golf Club in Gray during the first round of the 2020 Match Play Invitational. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

For Parsons, the momentum swung in his direction in the second round on the 16th hole after Thompson cut the deficit to one the hole before. Parsons made a par on the 16th hole and Thompson put his tee shot in the greenside bunker and barely got the ball out of it on his second shot en route to a bogey.

“It was back and forth pretty much the whole time and to get that par on 16 to go two-up there, I missed that par putt on 15,” Parsons said. “I was trying to make that one because I knew he would jump all over it, but he was a little bit off with his irons. I think he was cutting them just a little bit short, but Logan played great, he’s a great player.”

The No. 2 seed Will Kannegieser knocked off the No. 31 seed Len Cole in the first round, 4&3, and defeated the No. 15 seed Scott Sirois 1-up in the second round. The 17th hole against Sirois was the key for Kannegieser. Sirois drained a long par putt on 17 and Kannegieser followed it up with a long birdie putt of his own to take the 1-up advantage to No. 18.

“That was a huge putt, but like I said before, I knew he was going to drain that; it was kind of the way the match was going,” Kannegieser said. “It was about time something like that was going to happen and it did. As I said, it was nice to counter-punch and keep it together.”

Both had solid approaches into 18 and Sirois just missed his birdie putt for a chance to send the match to extra holes.

Kannegieser, the defending champion, will face the lowest remaining seed in the tournament in Garrett Olson — who’s the No. 23 seed — on Wednesday. Olson defeated Drew Glasheen in 19 holes in the first round and defeated the No. 26 seed John Witt in the second round, 1 up.

Garrett Olson, of Brunswick Golf Club, chips onto the 9th green at Spring Meadows Golf Club in Gray during the first round of the 2020 Match Play Invitational. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Ball striking was key for Olson on Tuesday.

“I couldn’t hit the ball any better. I finally got the opportunity to get some (shots) back on the back side (against Glasheen),” Olson said. “We went extra holes; we went 19 holes in my first match and in my second match I just hit a few errant shots out of the rough.”

The No. 3 seed Caleb Manuel defeated the No. 30 seed Jace Pearson 5&3 in the first round and the No. 19 seed Steve Lycette 6&4 in the second round. After winning the MSGA Junior Amateur last week on a double eagle, he’s glad to be playing in a competitive tournament this week with all the fanfare his win last week brought.

“It’s been a little crazy since I ended (the junior tournament) that way,” Manuel said. “A lot of congratulating around the club and stuff and a lot of people coming up to me. It’s good. I am not putting that behind me, but I am focusing on this tournament and trying to win this one.”

Manuel will face the No. 6 seed Joe Walp in the quarters on Wednesday. Walp defeated Thomas Hanscom, the No. 27 seed, in the first round, 3&2, and defeated the No. 11 sed Alex McGonagle 2-up in the second round.

Caleb Manuel, of Brunswick Golf Club, watches his drive off the 10th tee at Spring Meadows Golf Club in Gray during the first round of the 2020 Match Play Invitational. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

It will be the first time Walp has faced Manuel in a competitive setting.

“I think I have played with him a couple times, practices rounds and stuff,” Walp said. “He’s a good player, it should be fun.”

The fourth quarterfinal match on Wednesday is the No. 4 seed Drew Powell against the No. 5 seed Joe Hamilton. Powell defeated the No. 29 seed Ashley Fifield, 4&2, in the opening round and the No. 13 seed Brian Bilodeau in the second round, 5&4. Hamilton defeated the No. 28 seed Ben Moore, 6&4, and the No. 12 seed Ryan Wingard, 2&1.

After the quarterfinals, the semifinals will also be held Wednesday.


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