OAKLAND — It was Sam Grindle’s turn Thursday.

Five weeks after losing to Jack Wyman by two strokes in the Maine Amateur, Grindle turned the tables, winning the Maine Match Play Invitational 3 and 2 in the final at the Waterville Country Club.

“Sam and I have battled for a long time. This isn’t the first time we’ve met in the final,” said the top-seeded Wyman. “He’s like my arch-nemesis. He’s a good buddy of mine. It seems like we always meet up toward the end.”

The second-seeded Grindle won holes 15 and 16 to break open a close match.

“I’ve played Jack a bunch this summer and a bunch over the last five or six years. He’s a great kid. He’s a good player,” said the 22-year-old Grindle. “I knew it was going to be tough but I knew it was going to be fun, too. Lucky for me I only had to beat him once.”

It was the first Match Play title for Grindle, who won the Class C state championship for Deer Isle-Stonington High in 2012.


“This is actually the best I played all week. It’s nice to play your best in the most important time so I’m definitely pleased with that,” Grindle said.

Grindle clinched the match by sinking an 8-foot birdie putt on the par-3 16th. The putt was slightly downhill and Grindle studied it a little longer than usual.

“I was afraid I was going to overread it at first, but I took a little break and made the putt,” Grindle said.

He put himself in position to win on No. 16 by parring the 15th; Wyman took a bogey.

The 15th was emblematic of Wyman’s putting troubles. On the 12th and 13th, he missed birdie putts that would have evened the match.

“Sam just didn’t make any mistakes so I knew I had to make a few (putts) in order to win against him. They didn’t fall but he just beat me. That’s how it goes,” said the 26-year-old Wyman. “The putter just wasn’t there for me today. That’s kind of my story. Overall I’m happy with it and I’m happy Sam won. He’s a great kid. It just wasn’t my day.”


Wyman, who plays out of the Portland Country Club, made a few early putts, including a 20-footer uphill for birdie on No. 4 to tie the match.

“I hadn’t really made anything that long all week,” he said.

The tie lasted one hole.

Grindle’s second shot on No. 5 was arguably the best of the three-day, five-round tournament. From approximately 145 yards and playing a little into the wind, Grindle stuck his approach within a foot of the pin.

“It was nice to hit a few good shots in the beginning. You always like to settle into the round as early as possible,” said Grindle. “I’ve played a lot of golf this summer and I’ve played decent, so I was pretty comfortable.

“Jack had missed the green so I didn’t want to get too aggressive. I just fired the shot down and it was a perfect number, right next to the flag. I was just hoping it wouldn’t come down off that slope, but it stopped right next to the hole. I was hoping it was as good as it looked walking up, and it was.”


Grindle went 2 up when Wyman bogeyed No. 7. On the eighth, a Grindle bogey cut his lead back to 1 up, where it remained until the final two holes.

“We both went back and forth. We both had a lot of putts to win holes and hit some pretty good putts,” Grindle said.

“He hit three or four that caught a lot of the hole and didn’t fall. That’s definitely golf. It happens. We both had our opportunities and I was fortunate enough to take advantage of some near the end.”

Next week Grindle will head south for his senior season as a member of the golf team at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. He said he’s undecided about his golf plans after college.

“I’m going to play it by ear. Playing pro golf would be awesome but we’ll see how it goes,” said Grindle. “(I’ll see) if I’m playing well at the right time, or in for more school. We’ll see.”This story will be updated.

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