VASSALBORO — They played cribbage and they played chess on their smart phones. They talked about golf, and finally, after a four and a half hour rain delay, they played some.

Two rounds of the Match Play Invitational were scheduled for Thursday at Natanis Golf Course’s Tomahawk course, but when heavy rain in the morning suspended the quarterfinal round with two of the four matches still competing, officials elected to push the semifinals to this morning at 8 a.m., with the championship round to follow.

“This is the one thing you can’t control when you have a tournament,” Joe Alvarez, of Penobscot Valley Country Club, said.

That meant four golfers — Alvarez, Curtis Jordan, Mike O’Brien and Joe Walp — had to wait out the rain to finish their quarterfinal matches. Play was halted at 10:15 a.m. After it resumed at approximately 2:45 p.m., Jordan defeated Alvarez, 1-up, and Walp defeated O’Brien in 21 holes.

“It was definitely interesting waiting around. We were playing chess on our phones. (O’Brien and Alvarez) played cribbage,” Jordan said. “We were just telling stories and stuff. I’ve never seen anything like that before for a wait.”

In the two quarterfinal matches completed before the delay, Jack Wyman defeated Jason Gall, 4 and 2, and Johnny Hayes IV beat Tobey Buteau, 5 and 4. Jordan (Woodland Club) and Walp (Falmouth Country Club) will meet in today’s first semifinal at 8 a.m., with Wyman (Portland Country Club) and Hayes (Prouts Neck Country Club) teeing off 10 minutes later.

When play was suspended, Alvarez, ahead 1-up, was about to try an 8-foot putt on the 17th green to halve the hole with Jordan. When play resumed, judges gave Alvarez relief and allowed him to move his ball to a drier spot 8 feet from the opposite side of the hole.

Alvarez’s putt hit the lip of the cup and stayed out, tying the match. With Tomahawk’s 18th hole unplayable, they moved to the ninth hole at Natanis’ Arrowhead course. Alvarez’s tee shot went out of bounds, and after chipping onto the green at 5, he conceded the match to Jordan.

“I thought he was going to make that putt. If conditions were normal, he makes it every time. It’s tough to think about it for four hours,” Jordan said.

O’Brien and Walp made it through 16 holes all square in the morning and, after the delay, finished their round by playing holes eight and nine at Arrowhead. Still tied after 18 holes, the pair played Arrowhead eight and nine again, only to remain tied. For a third playoff hole, O’Brien and Walp moved to Tomahawk’s first hole, where Walp finally won the match when an O’Brien putt ran long and almost off the green.

The long delay didn’t bother him, Walp said.

“I really didn’t think about it. We were just talking about other golf stuff, keeping our minds off of things. I just hoped it would let up so we could get out and play,” Walp said.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242
[email protected]
 

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