SCARBOROUGH – Dan Falcone had to wait a long weekend until he knew who he’d be facing in the finals of the 2022 Senior Match Play Invitational, but in the end the wait was worth it, as he managed to win the final Maine Golf championship of the season Monday at Prouts Neck.
The Senior Match Play Invitational started last Wednesday, and the field of 16 of Maine’s top senior golfers was supposed to have a champion named on Thursday afternoon. Mother Nature had different plans during last week’s semifinal matches, with heavy rain forcing a suspension of play for the day’s second match. Due to a scheduling conflict with two players competing in this past weekend’s Tri-State Matches in Vermont, the event was forced to resume on Monday morning.
Falcone had already advanced to the finals after a concession last Thursday from his semifinal opponent Mike Nowak, and he awaited the winner of the second semifinal match on Monday morning. Resuming their match on the 10th hole at Prouts Neck at 11:00 a.m., Scott Dewitt held a 3-up lead over defending champion Mike O’Brien. Dewitt made quick work of the tournament’s second semifinal in the morning, defeating O’Brien 5&4 to advance to the finals.
In the afternoon final, it was all Falcone out of the gates. With a birdie on the third hole and at even par through the first eight holes, he found himself 4-up and in control of the match. Dewitt won his only hole of the match with a par on 9 and found himself 3-down at the turn. Falcone parred every hole on the back nine and eventually Dewitt ran out of holes, with Falcone winning the match on the 15th hole after the two halved with pars.
Falcone entered the tournament as the last player to earn a berth in the championship, and played as the #16 seed in the invitation-only field. He knocked off #1 seed Keith Patterson in the first round, no small feat considering Patterson was a winner at the three previous senior championships this year (Senior Club Team Championship, Senior Four-Ball, and Senior Amateur). After defeating Patterson 3&2 in the opening round, Falcone never had a match go beyond the 15th hole the rest of the tournament, winning comfortably in his last three matches.
Falcone’s father was a former head professional at Prouts Neck, and he used his local knowledge from over the years to win his second Maine Golf major, having also won the 2020 Senior Amateur at his home course of Riverside in Portland.
Maine Golf would like to thank Prouts Neck for hosting this championship and providing a great test of golf of the scenic seaside layout in Scarborough. This marks the last championship of the 2022 campaign, so thanks as well to all of the competitors who played in our championships across the Pine Tree State this season.
ONLINE: Matches and Bracket