Camden golfer Cole Anderson, left, shakes hands with Drew Powell of Holden after winning the final match of the Maine State Golf Association Match Play Invitational on Thursday at Falmouth Country Club. Portland Press Herald photo by Ben McCanna

FALMOUTH — Before this week, Cole Anderson’s experience in match play golf was limited to friendly rounds at the Samoset Resort, his home course, with his buddies.

“I haven’t played a match play event before. That’s the go-to format around the club if you’re going out with the guys. You play match play,” Anderson said.

That fact makes Anderson’s dominance in the Match Play Invitational at Falmouth Country Club all the more impressive. A Camden Hills Regional High School senior, Anderson beat Drew Powell Thursday morning, 4 and 3, to claim the title.

“Luckily (Wednesday) I was able to get through my two matches in 28 holes. I didn’t have to play the whole 36,” Anderson said. “Mentally, it’s definitely a bit of a grind. It’s one v one and you’ve not necessarily playing versus the course like you normally do.”

Anderson had just one of his five matches, a 2-up victory over Gavin Dugas in the quarterfinals, go a full 18 holes. Thursday morning’s championship match took 15 holes. Powell went 1-up with a par on hole two, but Anderson took control of the match with consecutive wins on holes six, seven, and eight to go 2-up.

“It’s always good to win. I was a little bummed at how the Am turned out. This (the Match Play title) is a little bit like my opportunity to get a little bit of that back,” Anderson said.

The win was another high point in what has been a strong summer for Anderson. In July, he was runner-up in the Maine Amateur Championship at Belgrade Lakes. Last week, competing against some of the best junior players from around the nation, Anderson won the AJGA Coca-Cola Championship at Sugarloaf for the second straight year. Anderson had to make a choice last week. Go for another win at Sugarloaf, or compete in the Charlie’s Maine Open at Augusta Country Club.

“It would have been tougher if I hadn’t won at Sugarloaf last year. I felt like I had an obligation to go back,” he said.

Now, Anderson will join his teammates on the Camden Hills golf team, which began practices for the upcoming season earlier this week. Anderson will go for his fourth consecutive Class A individual title this season.

“I was lucky enough to hold that the first three years. I want to find a way to get it done the final year,” Anderson said.

Anderson said he plans on graduating early from Camden Hills, and enrolling at Florida State in the spring semester. Anderson said he’s not sure if he’ll begin competing with the Seminoles golf team immediately, or join the team in the fall.

• • •

While he lost to Anderson in Thursday’s final, Powell is a fan of match play golf.

“Match play, I think, is less stressful. On this course, we’ve got out of bounds on the right. We’ve got a hazard on the left every single hole. I’m not really worried about hitting it out of bounds, because maybe it’s a loss of hole at worst,” Powell said. “In stroke play, it’s two shots, it’s going to drop you down the leaderboard. Here, it’s I’ll get it back next hole. It lets me play more free and confident.”

Powell will be a sophomore member of the Brown University golf team this fall. The Bears finished sixth at the Ivy League championships last season.

• • •

Bailey Plourde made history earlier this week. The winner of the Women’s Maine Amateur last month, Plourde became the first player to win the Janet Drouin Memorial tournament with a score under par.

Plourde shot an even par 72 in the first round, and followed that with a minus-2 70 on Tuesday’s day two at Natanis Golf Course’s Arrowhead course.

Plourde defeated runner-up Mia Hornberger by 11 strokes.

• • •

Both Mainers competing at the US Amateur Championship at Pebble Beach and Spyglass Hill in California were unable to advance from the stroke play to the match play portion of the tournament.

Will Kannegieser, of Minot shot 78 and 85 in his two rounds at Spyglass to finish at +20. Jack Wyman of South Freeport, the two-time defending Maine Am champ, shot 82 in each of his rounds at Pebble Beach to finish at +21.

• • •

The sprint that is the Maine high school golf season began this week with preseason practices.

The shortest of Maine’s high school sports seasons, the golf championships will be decided over two weekends in October.

Team championships will be held on Oct. 6, with individual championships decided the following weekend on Oct. 13. Both team and individual championships will be held at Natanis Golf Course in Vassalboro.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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