OAKLAND — The summer to remember for Jack Wyman was looking at a moment to forget.

The Maine Amateur champion, who was also the low amateur at the Maine Open, saw his chances for a summer sweep flickering dangerously with a two-hole deficit going into the 14th hole of his round of 16 match with Mike O’Brien at the Maine Match Play Invitational.

There was no panic from the 26-year-old, however. Even against a dose of adversity, the year’s most decorated golfer was ready to play like it.

The top-seeded Wyman rallied back and then bested O’Brien on the 18th hole, earning a 1-up victory that put him in the quarterfinals at Waterville Country Club. Wyman, who began the two-round day with a 5 and 3 victory over Brian Angis, will face No. 8 Lance Bernier, who beat Jeff Cole, 7 and 6, and Peter Wright in 22 holes. Second seed Sam Grindle also moved on, as did No. 3 Joe Baker, No. 5 Craig Chapman, No. 11 Will Kannegieser, No. 10 Andrew Slattery and No. 20 Tim Desmarais.

“It’s definitely been a breakthrough year for me,” said Wyman, who also won the Portland Country Club championship. “I’ve worked really hard at it, so it’s not a surprise for me. But yeah, it’s been a breakthrough. Once you get a win like that at the Amateur, you get some confidence.”

Wyman opened with the victory over Angis, who had beaten him in the match play championship two years ago — “He kicked my butt a few years ago, so it was good to get some revenge,” Wyman said.


But Wyman bogeyed twice on the front nine against O’Brien to set up the deficit going into the 14th.

It was a rare spot, but Wyman said he went in expecting the challenge.

“Everyone here is good. Even being the 1 seed, you know you’re going to play good players every time,” Wyman said. “You kind of have to get into the mindset that anyone can beat you. You’re not better than anyone else, you’re as good as the next person.”

He got a shot back when O’Brien bogeyed 14, birdied 15 to pull even, then finished the rally when he stuck his approach on 18 close and rolled in the birdie putt.

“I kind of knew if I just played my game and stayed the course, I’d be OK,” Wyman said. “Mike put up a great fight, we had a great match.”

Wyman will next face Bernier, who had to grind to advance after a stress-free start to the day. Bernier rolled to the day’s most one-sided victory, handling the 2014 and ’15 runner-up in Cole, before going back and forth with Wright, with fatigue settling in as they scuffled down the stretch.


“I’m lucky to get away with a win in that one. Neither one of us really played well in the end,” Bernier said. “It was dumb mistakes. Mine was choosing bad clubs off the tee, and he was struggling with his putter. Pars were winning a lot of holes. When it’s like that, you know it’s ugly.”

Bernier made his last shot count, sticking his approach on the green while Wright found greenside rough. When Wright couldn’t make up-and-down, Bernier just had a two-putt for the par and the win.

“It’s definitely a grind. Luckily, I was fortunate to just go 12 holes this morning, I saved some energy, but I definitely got tired at the end,” said Bernier, who trailed by two shots during the round but never had a multiple-shot lead. “It was a battle the whole way. An ugly battle, but it was a battle.”

No one had a more arduous trip to the quarterfinals than Desmarais and Slattery.

Desmarais nabbed a pair of upsets and had to work for them, brushing off Dustin Freeman in 19 holes before toppling No. 4 Ryan Wingard in 20.

“I’m getting my money’s worth, right?” said Desmarais, who got his opening for the win when he put his approach on the 20th hole green while Wingard hit through the green. “I need a nap, some food, a shower, a shave. That was a lot of golf. … The second match, the first hole, which was the 20th hole, I was gassed. And you could see it in the swing. I’m just like ‘get it on the surface, get it on the surface.’ I don’t have to use energy to putt.”


Slattery became the day’s marathon man later in the evening, finishing off a 23-hole win over Gavin Dugas after beating Keith Patterson in 24, giving him a whopping 47 holes for the day.

“I’m exhausted. Absolutely beat,” said Slattery, who said he had never played 47 holes in competition before. “You’ve just got to get over it. You’re tired, you want out, but you’ve just got to realize that you’ve got to hit one more good shot, and you’ve got to keep telling yourself that, every single time. ‘I’ve got to hit one more good shot.’ ”

The tournament’s three highest seeds all made it to the quarters. Baker advanced by default before beating Ashley Fifield in 20 holes, while Grindle topped Jace Pearson, 3 and 2, before beating Joe Walp in 19 holes, bouncing back after losing a two-hole lead with four to play.

“It’s tough, but when you’re playing good players, you expect them to make good shots,” said Grindle, who plays for Rollins College. “That’s one of the keys in match play. You just expect your opponent to make a good shot. You just focus on your shot and hitting the best shot you can hit.”

Chapman punched his ticket as well, beating Curtis Jordan 2 and 1 before beating Mark Plummer, 3 and 1, in the afternoon, withstanding a late charge by the Augusta Country Club icon.

“I’m technically probably the underdog in that (match), even though I’m the fifth seed,” Chapman said. “He did (make a run), being Mark Plummer. I was five up with six to play, and it went all the way down to the 17th hole.”


Kannegieser advanced with a 6 and 5 victory over Len Cole and a 2-up win over Eric Dugas, who, along with brother and Husson University teammate Gavin, authored the day’s two biggest seedings upsets. Eric, the 27th seed, beat No. 6 Brian Bilodeau, 2-up, in the first round, while Gavin, the 26th seed, beat No. 7 Drew Powell, 3 and 2, before falling to Slattery.

Drew Bonifant — 621-5638

[email protected]

Twitter: @dbonifantMTM

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