Top level golf event

Anderson falls short of bid to advance in U.S. Open qualifier

Florida State University golfer ready to tackle other tournaments this summer
By Staff | May 10, 2019
Photo by: Mark Haskell Cole Anderson.

Plymouth, Mass. — If all goes as planned, Cole Anderson will have millions of future swings on golf courses around the country and perhaps world, as well as potential shots at college, amateur and professional titles on the horizon, but, for at least this year, the 18-year-old Camden resident will not reach his goal of playing in the prestigious U.S. Open.

Anderson made a bid to move on in the U.S. Open qualifying process on Thursday, May 9 at the Pinehills Golf Club (Nicklaus Course), but fell a few shots short.

Anderson played solidly in the elite field as he finished among six golfers at 5-over par 77 in the nearly 85-player field, as links athletes from across the country and Canada, England and France participated in the qualifier.

Anderson, an amateur, finished among the top 25.

He is a three-time state Class A individual champion and plays for Florida State University.

Anderson said he was "pretty disappointed with how I played. Ball striking was poor and just couldn't really managed to get it off the tee. Definitely expect more from myself, but am looking forward to using the next month to get things sharpened back up."

Max Gilbert and Kevin Fortin-Simard, both of Canada, along with Ryan Gendron of Tampa, Fla., Matthew Naumec of Wilbraham, Mass. and Jason Parajeckas of Woburn, Mass., tied for first at even-par 72 to advance.

All are pros, except Naumec, who is an amateur.

Athan Goulos of Peabody, Mass. and Erik Macdonald of Winter Garden, Fla. are first and second alternates. They finished at 1-over 73.

Anderson was one of 10 Maine golfers who teed it up at two Massachusetts courses in the hope of getting one step closer to earning a berth in the U.S. Open on June 13-16 at the iconic Pebble Beach Golf Links, located on the Pacific Ocean between Monterey and Carmel, Calif.

Anderson, who plays out of the Samoset Resort Golf Club in Rockport and will graduate with his Camden Hills Regional High School Class of 2019 in June (although he "graduated" early and headed to Florida over the winter), played the Nicklaus course at the Pinehills Golf Club.

The Nicklaus course is bordered by stately trees and highlighted by challenging green complexes, gently rolling fairways, and a classic variety of holes . Five sets of tees allow this public Massachusetts daily fee golf course to play from 5,185 yards to 7,243 yards, states the Pinehills Golf Club website.

For most players looking to get into the U.S. Open field, the journey starts at a local qualifier. Professional golfers, along with amateurs who carry a USGA handicap of 1.4 or less, must get through two stages of qualifying to earn the chance to play against the world’s best next month on the Monterey coast.

The first stage, called local qualifying, consists of 18-hole qualifiers at venues across the country, with each offering a few spots to the low scorers to advance. The second stage, called sectional qualifying, is one of the more grueling and testing days in the sport. The players who advance through local qualifying move on and compete against the nation’s best — often including PGA Tour players — in a 36-hole event in one day, again with differing numbers of spots available based on field size and field strength. Those who advance through sectionals advance to the U.S. Open.

In all, there are 110 local qualifiers run across the country, with three of them in Massachusetts. Of the three, two featured Maine golfers who competed and looked to move on to sectional qualifying a few weeks later.

Courier Publications' sports staff can be reached by email at sports@villagesoup.com or by phone at 594-4401.

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