YORK — Matt Hutchins was the Great Unknown entering the Maine Amateur golf tournament. While everyone knew he had been playing extremely well over the summer based on out-of-state results, few had actually seen him play.

Well, now they know. He’s pretty good.

Hutchins, a 19-year-old from Falmouth who plays out of The Woodlands, won the 97th Maine Amateur in convincing fashion Thursday at the York Golf & Tennis Club. He shot a tourney-best 5-under 65 in the final round to win by six strokes over Ricky Jones, a three-time champion.

Hutchins had a three-day total of 204 – the only golfer to finish under par.

Hutchins took the lead when he sank a 50-foot putt for an eagle on the par-5 eighth hole, then methodically pulled away. He birdied three holes on the back nine.

“Me and Ricky both saw it coming,” said Joe Baker, the third-place finisher at 211. “We were talking to each other going up to the 10th hole and looked at each other, and just started laughing. That’s all you can do.”


That came after Hutchins hit his second shot on 10 within a foot of the pin. He got a birdie there, extending his lead to three strokes.

Hutchins tried not to look too far ahead but knew the title was within his grasp.

“I was just trying to hit smart shots in the middle of the green and give myself uphill putts for birdie,” he said. “Just make sure I don’t miss it in places that it would be tough to make par.”

That wasn’t much of a problem. He had only one bogey on Thursday – on No. 4 – and was never in a bad spot. He was amazingly consistent throughout the tournament. He had only eight bogeys in the three days, five on the first day – three in the first four holes.

“I’m just going out and playing my game,” he said. “I was just trying to play golf. Winning a tournament is awesome but what it comes down to is it’s such a joy to be out here playing golf when a lot of people are doing other things.”

Hutchins was raised in Sudbury, Massachusetts, after his family moved there from Falmouth when he was in the first grade. His family moved back to Falmouth last fall – into the very house they built and moved from 12 years earlier.


He played last year at Chico (California) State, which finished second in the NCAA Division II championships. He has transferred to UCLA.

This summer he finished second in the New England Open and third in the Massachusetts Open.

Jones, the 44-year-old from Thomaston who plays out of the Samoset Resort, said he tried not to pay too much attention to what Hutchins was doing. “I’ve had enough experience in these things to worry about myself rather than worry about what someone else is doing,” said Jones, who won the Maine Amateur in 2003, 2004 and 2013. “If I play good and I lose, I lose. If I play good and win, I win. You can’t control what somebody else is doing.

“It was fun to watch him when he got on a roll.”

There were four sub-par rounds Thursday, as many as there had been the previous two days. Sam Grindle, a 21-year-old from Deer Isle, shot a 3-under to finish fourth with a 212. Judd Parsons, 34, of the host club and Gavin Dugas, 19, of Pittsfield tied for fifth at 214.

Jones had birdied the sixth hole to go 3 under and take a two-stroke lead over both Hutchins and Baker, who bogeyed the hole.


Then Jones hit his tee shot on No. 7 into the sand bunker on the right. It took him two shots to get out and he ended up with a double-bogey, and the three were tied at 1 under.

“I was thinking ahead,” said Jones. “If I get par here (seven) and birdie (the eighth) … The sand was a little soft and I got a little steep with it, and I dug in too far. I haven’t played that much so I haven’t been in many traps. And if you haven’t done something and practiced it, the mind can play tricks with you.

“My whole thought there was ‘Don’t hit it into the ocean (the tidal water that was behind the hole).’ ”

Hutchins then struck his defining shot. His second shot on the par-5, 456-yard eighth hole left him about 50 feet low from the pin. He putted the ball and it slowly made its way into the hole, sparking a yelp from his mother, Sherry, who was following in a cart.

After Hutchins birdied 10, Baker knew it was going to be tough.

“Once he got that roll, we had nothing to come back from that,” said Baker, who is from Oxford.


Jones said it may not have mattered how good he played. “Going out I was going to try to be around 67, 68,” said Jones. “If I had done that I still wouldn’t have caught him.”

Birdies on 15 and 17 simply sealed the championship, though Hutchins said he didn’t feel comfortable until he was on the 18th green.

“It’s always special, especially to win your own state am,” he said.

“No matter what tournament you’re in, if it’s a qualifier, if it’s a big tournament, if it’s a small tournament, it’s always great to win. It just provides a lot of confidence.”

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