FALMOUTH – The Match Play Individual is the most grueling championship of the Maine Golf season, with five rounds of golf over three days for the players that continue to advance through the bracket. The championship began on Monday with 32 of Maine’s best players, all competing in single-elimination matches. This year’s event was played at Falmouth CC, and players were treated to wonderful course conditions under hot and sunny skies. When the dust settled, James Frost was the last man standing, deafeating Garrett Olson in extra holes to win his first Maine Golf individual championship.
Frost, a member at Fox Ridge GC, has some history at Falmouth CC dating back two decades, where he was runner-up to Mark Plummer in the 2002 Maine Amateur. This return trip to Falmouth proved to be the one to get his first big win in Maine Golf championships.
His opponent on Wednesday’s final was Garrett Olson, a member at Brunswick GC, and the third Brunswick player Frost faced during the week. Both players had survived four matches over the first two days, making this championship as much about the mental game as surviving the physical aspect of playing so much golf.
Frost took the early lead on the difficult par-3 2nd hole and held the lead most of the day. With three birdies on his front nine, Frost made the turn at 1-up over Olson. Olson made a birdie and an eagle on the front to keep it close after the opening nine. Frost extended the lead to 2-up after 12, but Olson hit a wedge close on 13 to respond with birdie. Olson then won the par-5 14th with par to get the match back to all square.
The 15th was halved with bogeys and they went to the 16th all square. Both players hit towering irons on the long par-3 to within six feet, but neither was able to convert their breaking birdie putts. On 17 both players were near the green in two, but a poor pitch and chip for Frost led to a bogey and gave Olson his first lead of the day.
On 18 both players hit perfect drives in the middle of the fairway, but Olson miscued and pulled his iron into the left greenside bunker, short-siding himself to the left hole location. After a two putt from Frost and a bogey from Olson, the match was tied after 18 holes. As if five rounds weren’t enough on the week, play went extra holes and the two headed to Falmouth’s 1st hole to determine a champion.
Both players hit their tee shots in play off the tee, and Frost hit first into the green, judging his lie in the rough beautifully and hitting wedge to ten feet. Olson hit his approach next and left himself a fifteen-footer for birdie. After his putt missed low, Frost had a putt for the win, and after making it down the hill, he put his hands on his head in disbelief before shaking his opponent’s hand. With the putt, he became the 2022 Match Play Invitational champion, defeating Olson 1-up after 19 holes.
Maine Golf would like to thank Falmouth CC for hosting this event and all of the competitors for coming out to play. Falmouth plays host to a Korn Ferry Tour event each June and it was a treat for the competitors to test their game not just against the course, but also the players from across Maine who played this week.
ONLINE: Scoring and Bracket