AUBURN — In his four previous appearances in the state Match Play Invitational Championship, Andrew Slattery of Minot failed to make it to the second day of the three-day tournament.

That changed this week.

Slattery, 26, captured the sixth annual event Thursday with a 2-and-1 win over Jeff Cole of Scarborough at Martindale Country Club.

Slattery won five matches over three days to win the crystal trophy. A year ago he lost his first match.

“I wasn’t extremely confident coming into the tournament,” said Slattery. “I had to put that mindset behind me. We’re all friends in this tournament and it’s tough playing your friends. The way I had to think was that someone has to win, it might as well be me.”

Slattery played steadily and his putts finally started to drop on the back nine. The match was even through nine holes.

“I didn’t feel I had any rhythm until the tee shot on 12,” said Slattery. “I scraped it around on the front nine. I was just trying to make pars. I hit a good drive on 12 and then a good second shot.”

Those two shots on the 603-yard hole led to a birdie that gave him a 2-up lead.

“I finally hit the putt the way I wanted. When you’re striking the ball well and hitting every green on the back nine, you’re usually going to win,” said Slattery.

Cole, who rode a hot putter on the first two days, couldn’t continue that form in the final. He had two three-putts. The second, on the 11th, dropped him one behind. Several times, he left his putt short of the hole.

“I couldn’t get the feel of the greens,” he said. “You have to make one early to get your confidence and I didn’t.”

While the greens were a little slower than the previous rounds because of overnight rain, Cole said that wasn’t an excuse. He said he should have adjusted.

“You can’t three-putt against this competition, especially against a player like Andrew. I three-putted twice and I lost by two. The putter under pressure wasn’t working,” he said.

Cole finally rolled in a 20-footer for birdie on 16 to cut Slattery’s lead to one with two to play.

“I wasn’t going to leave that one short,” Cole said.

The putt Cole needed to make came three holes earlier, trailing by two. He had a 5-footer for birdie on 13. Slattery, putting first on 13, left his birdie inches short.

“I needed to make that putt,” said Cole. “It snapped across the hole. I didn’t see that in my read.”

Slattery ended the match on 17, an uphill, 172-yard par 3. After Cole missed an uphill 25-footer, Slattery rolled in his 12-foot birdie putt.

“It was kind of a strange putt,” said Slattery. “I could have hit it soft and played a lot of break or hit it hard and play less break. I didn’t play a lot of break and hoped to see it disappear.”

It did.

Cole won the first hole with a par when Slattery pulled his opening tee shot left into the lateral hazard and took a penalty shot. Slattery evened the match on No. 3 when Cole had the first of his two three-putts. Slattery took the lead with a par on No. 5. Cole hit his tee shot into a fairway bunker, was short of the green on his approach, chipped above the hole and missed his par putt. Cole made a 5-footer for birdie on the par-5 eighth to tie the match.

Slattery now has a state Match Play Championship to go with the Maine Amateur title he won last year at The Woodlands in Falmouth.

“The Maine Amateur was special,” said Slattery. “It’s the flagship event of the Maine State Golf Association.

“This is awesome. All 32 players could have won this tournament. To win, you have to play well in all five rounds.”

Slattery said he felt he had a great chance of winning the tournament after he beat John Hayes IV, the 2015 Maine Amateur champion, in the quarterfinals, and Joe Walp in the semifinals. He defeated Walp in a 20-hole match.

“They are two really good golfers. I felt worn out after that,” he said.

Slattery said he realized he could compete with the best players in the state when he had a strong back nine in the Maine Amateur three years ago.

“I had played in enough tournaments so that I got the hang of playing under pressure,” he said. “I told myself to play like I do on Saturdays and not play scared.”

Cole lost for the second straight year in the final.

“I’ve been here. Now I want to see if I can win one,” he said.