FALMOUTH — Cole Anderson thinks it would be fun if Maine’s amateur golf championship incorporated both stroke and match play, like the other New England states.

But this year the 17-year-old standout from Camden was glad the Maine State Golf Association opts for two separate championship events.

A little more than a month after Anderson finished second by one stroke at the 54-hole Maine Amateur, the soon-to-be senior at Camden Hills High got a victory of his own. He defeated Drew Powell, 20, of Holden in the final of the MSGA’s Match Play Invitational on Thursday at Falmouth Country Club, winning 4 and 3, meaning he had a four-hole lead with three holes remaining.

“It’s always good to win, especially since I was a little bummed about how the Am turned out,” said Anderson, who has accepted a scholarship to play at Florida State. “I looked at this as a little bit of an opportunity to get a little of that back.”

For many years, Maine’s state amateur title did include a match-play component. That was the standard from 1918-73 and again for a five-year stretch from 2001-05.

But the MSGA began hearing from its golfers that a five-day state tournament – two days for stroke play qualifying and three days of matches – was too much of a time commitment, said Randy Hodsdon, a rules official.


“It was hard for guys to justify taking five days of vacation,” Hodsdon said.

But that didn’t mean the desire to compete in the match-play format wasn’t there, just that it would be better to hold it separately. That started in 2010 with Joe Alvarez winning the first tournament.

Anderson joins an impressive list of former match play champions that includes Maine Amateur winners Ryan Gay, Johnny Hayes, Ricky Jones, Andrew Slattery, Matt Hutchins and Sam Grindle.

“I personally think it would be fun to have it all in one, have two days of stroke play and then send it to match play,” Anderson said. “But I would imagine there’s probably some difficulties with getting a golf course for five days.”

This year 32 golfers competed at Falmouth, chosen based on a top-16 finish at the Maine Amateur and then their ranking in the state’s point standings. Anderson entered as the No. 1 seed because this year’s state amateur champion, Jack Wyman, was attending the U.S. Amateur at Pebble Beach, California. Powell, third in the state amateur, was the second seed.

Playing in his first competitive match-play situation, Anderson won five matches over three days, only once being extended beyond the 15th hole. Powell won his first three matches convincingly, then had to go to 20 holes to edge Joe Hamilton in his semifinal.


In the final, Powell took a 1-up lead when Anderson bogeyed the second hole. On the par-5 sixth, both golfers reached the green in two shots. Anderson two-putted for a birdie and Powell missed his birdie attempt, evening the match.

Anderson won the next two holes with pars after Powell was unable to recover from consecutive wayward drives – into the trees to the left on No. 7, then out of bounds to the right on No. 8.

“I couldn’t get it in play,” said Powell, who soon will return to Brown University for his sophomore season. “I had a two-way miss going and that’s hard to control.”

After both players parred the ninth hole, Anderson went 3 up on the 10th after Powell drove into a deep left-side bunker. His second shot grazed the high, upper edge of the trap, causing it to decelerate into the middle of a pond and leading to a double-bogey.

Powell had birdie chances on the next two holes that would have won the hole. Neither dropped, leaving Anderson with a three-hole lead with only six to play.

“I had some decent looks and I hit good putts, I just wasn’t matching the speed and the line,” Powell said. “They were a little slower than they looked.”


Anderson moved to 4 up with five holes to play after a Powell bogey on the 13th hole.

Both players then parred the 14th and 15th.

It was Anderson’s second significant victory in eight days. Last Thursday he defended his championship at the American Junior Golf Association event held at Sugarloaf Golf Club, rallying from a four-stroke deficit with a final round 1-under 71.

Anderson said he intends to graduate from Camden Hills after the first semester, then enroll at Florida State in January.

Before that happens, he’ll attempt to become the first Class A golfer to win the Maine high school championship four times. Last fall, Logan Thompson of Mattanawcook Academy, competing in Class C, became the first boy to win four state titles.

“I was lucky enough to pull it off the first three years, so you want to try to find a way to get it done one more time,” Anderson said.

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or:

[email protected]

Twitter: SteveCCraig

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