BAR HARBOR — When the 102nd Maine Amateur Golf Championship tees up Tuesday through Thursday, July 13-15, it will include five talented Midcoast participants, including a multi-time area champion, but the 132-player field will be missing one notable local resident — namely, two-time defending champion Cole Anderson.

The Camden resident, who plays for Florida State University, ranked No. 1 nationally at one point this spring, previously stated he planned to play more national-level tournaments this summer, thus, has opted to participate in an event in Mississippi instead.

So there will be no three-peat for the former three-time state high school champion with a bright future in the game — perhaps even possible NCAA team/individual titles and a career as a touring professional, including the PGA.

In more than a century, only two golfers have earned a three-peat in the Maine Am.

A few weeks ago, Anderson teed it up in the Dogwood Invitational, another invite-only event open to top amateurs. Over four days in the tournament outside of Atlanta, Anderson had rounds of 71-65-72-65—273 (-15) to finish fourth. His solid play caught the eye of the Northeast Amateur committee, who extended an invite to Anderson.

The Northeast Amateur, nearly 60 years old, has produced many notable champions over the years, including some who have gone on to capture major championships as professionals. Collin Morikawa, Dustin Johnson, David Duval, Hal Sutton and Ben Crenshaw are among the names to have won the Northeast Amateur trophy in the past. The event is heralded as one of the most elite amateur events in the country, as evidenced by the past winners and current list of competitors.

In the Northeast Am played the end of June, Anderson made the cut and finished 71-71-71-70—283 (+7) and tied for 56th.

“It was a tough call, obviously,” said Anderson. “I wanted to go to the Maine Am and defend again, but with what I’m trying to accomplish right now and the goals for the next few years this is a better opportunity for me and my progression. It’s a little deeper field [in Mississippi], a little better competition, which is what I need to be focusing on right now.

“There was obviously a good part of me wanted to be [at the Maine Am] and compete, but it was one of those things where I had a tournament that meant a little bit more emotionally to me, but I have to be practical right now and think a little more big picture, and what it’s going to take to keep me progressing and getting better to a level that I need to be.

“The next step for me is to win something of this size [in Mississippi]. That’s where we are looking right now. I feel like I have plenty of experience right now at this level, and [my] game is in good shape and has been getting better as of late.”

Anderson’s will not slow down after being in The Magnolia State, as he competes in the U.S. Amateur qualifier at Ledges Golf Club on Monday, July 19 in York, followed by the Western Amateur Monday through Saturday, July 26-31 at Glen View Club in Glenview, Ill..

In this summer’s Maine Am field is Ricky Jones, 49, of Thomaston, who has won the Maine Am three times. Also in the tourney are Jon Hardy, 46, of West Rockport; Parker Hilchey, 17, of St. George; and Adam Wilcox, 22, of Warren. Jones, coming off another win in the local Seacoast Security Classic, Hilchey and Hardy play out of the Samoset Resort Golf Club in Rockport, while Wilcox plays at Goose River Golf Club in Rockport.

Chris King, 53, of Rockland, a member of Woodlands Country Club in Falmouth, also is in field, as is Kellen Adickes, 14, of Bristol, who plays out of Wawenock in Walpole. Adickes, the youngest player in the field, also has played out of the Samoset.

The Maine Am is a 54-hole stroke play competition. The field for the championship will be cut to the low 40 players, plus ties, after two rounds, who will advance to Thursday’s final round. Any player who makes the cut will be exempt from qualifying for the 2022 Maine Amateur Championship at Webhannet GC in Kennebunk. Additionally, the top 16 and ties will earn a berth in the 2021 Match Play Invitational, to be played at Fox Ridge GC in August.

The course will play as a par 70 and will measure around 6,100 yards for the championship.

Kebo, as it is affectionately called by most, is the oldest golf club in Maine and eighth oldest in the United States. Situated on Mount Desert Island, the club opened in 1888 and has had U.S. presidents and tour pros on its grounds. Adding to the club’s history, this year will mark the eighth time the Maine State Golf Association has hosted the Amateur at Kebo.

Despite its long history, Kebo Valley did not host its first Maine Am until 1960, won by Jim Veno. The club hosted again in 1962 (Veno), 1964 (Todd Read), 1981 (Ralph Noel, Jr.), 1988 (Sean Gorgone), 1998 (Eric Crouse), and most recently in 2010 (Ryan Gay). Crouse won in a playoff in 1998, and, surprisingly, that is the most recent playoff in the Amateur, a stretch of 23 years.

Last year’s championship was held at Biddeford-Saco CC and was won by Anderson. The 19-year old shot rounds of 71-67-65 en route to a score of 203 (-10), as he carded the lowest score in relation to par in tournament history. Anderson beat runner-up John Hayes by six strokes to win his second consecutive title.

Jones, Ryan Gay, Hayes and Andrew Slattery are the only former champions in this year’s field of 132 players.

This year saw 306 players register for a chance to compete in the championship, in addition to 54 players who were exempt. The other 78 players earned spots at qualifiers across the state of Maine in June, held at Biddeford-Saco CC, Fox Ridge GC in Auburn, and Bangor Municipal GC.

The tourney will begin on Tuesday, July 13, with winners from 2020 MSGA championships in the first group. Hayes (Mid-Amateur), Will Kannegieser (Match Play) and Caleb Manuel (Junior) will get the tournament going at 7 a.m. Round two will feature former champions Gay, Jones and Slattery going out first.

Maine Am tee times: Tuesday, July 13, 7 a.m. to 2:10 p.m.; Wednesday, July 14, 7 a.m. to 2:10 p.m.; and Thursday, July 15 7:30 to 10:00 a.m. (approximately).

Fun Facts

• The field is comprised of 132 players representing 40 golf clubs across the state.

• Biddeford-Saco CC has the most players in the field with 15, followed by Brunswick GC (11), Fox Ridge GC (8), Val Halla (7), Portland CC and The Woodlands Club (6). Host club Kebo Valley GC has four players who will compete.

• Eleven of Maine’s 16 counties have at least one player in the field.

• There is one father and son duo in the field; Andy Spaulding and his son, Elliot. There are two sets of brothers who will compete in the championship; Michael and Joe Walp, and Jace and Vance Pearson.

• The oldest player in the field is Jim Quinn (73), and the youngest Adickes (14). The average age for the field is 35.4.

• There are 30 players in the field with a handicap index of 0.0 or better. The average handicap index for the field is 2.1.

Competitors: The field is made up of 132 players from the following golf clubs, with the number of players from that club in parentheses: Augusta (2), Bangor Municipal (2), Barnes Brook (4), Bath (1), Belgrade Lakes (2), Biddeford-Saco (15), Blue Hill (2), Brunswick (11), Cape Arundel (2), Deep Brook (1), Fairlawn (1), Falmouth (4), Fox Ridge (8), Goose River (1), Hermon Meadow (1), Hidden Meadows (1), Island (1), Kebo Valley (4), Martindale (5), Natanis (1), Nonesuch River (3), Norway (2), Penobscot Valley (4), Point Sebago (1), Poland Spring (1), Portland (6), Presque Isle (2), Prouts Neck (2), Purpoodock (5), Riverside (3), Samoset (3), Springbrook (3), Turner Highlands (1), Val Halla (7), Waterville (2), Wawenock, (1), Webhannet (5), Willowdale (4), The Woodlands (6) and York (2).

Mike Doran, director of the Maine State Golf Association, contributed information to this story, as did Zack Miller of MaineStay Media.