Includes videos, photos

One stroke: Anderson second at 99th Maine Amateur by slimmest of margins

Midcoast golfers Jones, Wickenden finish tied for 16th in prestigious field
By Ken Waltz, Mark Haskell and Zack Miller | Jul 12, 2018
Photo by: Zack Miller Cole Anderson during the second round of the 99th Maine Amateur Championship golf tournament on July 11 at Belgrade Lakes Golf Club.

Belgrade Lakes — For the second time in two years, Cole Anderson of Camden put himself in strong position to win the Maine Amateur Championship, one of the state's most coveted and prestigious golf title.

Alas, the 17-year-old Camden Hills Regional High School senior came within a whisker of grabbing that cherished title, but, ultimately, after the final putts had been holed, one stroke separated him with the champion — the same talented player who bested the field a year ago in Brunswick.

Anderson, a member at the Samoset Resort Golf Club in Rockport, shot even-par 71 for the second straight day to finish the three-day, 54-hole tournament second, one shot behind champion Jack Wyman of Portland Country Club in the 99th edition of the Maine Amateur.

Click to review each golfer's scores and standing after the first two rounds.

Watch videos below from the second and third day's action.

Click link below photos to listen to audio interview with Cole Anderson.

Wyman, who defended his title from a summer ago, also shot even par the final day on Thursday, July 12 at the beautiful Belgrade Lakes Golf Club, but had built a one shot lead after day two and then held off Anderson and others over the final 18 holes.

Anderson, third in last year's tourney, finished 66-71-71—208 this year, while Wyman finished 68-68-71—207. Anderson led by two strokes after the first round of the tourney.

John Hayes IV of Sable Oakes finished third at 70-69-70—209.

Wyman finished minus-6, Anderson minus-5 and Hayes minus-4.

Two other Midcoast golfers — Ricky Jones and Daulton Wickenden, both also of the Samoset — also made the cut after two days of play, and had the chance to tee it up for the final 18 holes.

Jones and Wickenden finished tied for 16th. Jones finished 74-77-74—225 (+12) and Wickenden 74-75-76—225 (+12).

In the third round, Anderson finished 38-31—71, as his round included an eagle, four birdies, nine pars, three bogeys and a triple-bogey.

"I felt like I played well for 95 percent of the event, and if I could have played better for 97 percent, well, I think I would have had a good chance of holding that trophy," Anderson said. "Jack played really solid today, and I’m happy I was able to pull it together on the back [nine] and give it a little bit of a run because I still felt like I was playing really well."

"That was the story of the past two front nines. I felt like I was playing really well, but I just didn’t quite score, which is always a little frustrating, but it’s still positive that I feel like I played very positively most of the week," Anderson said.

Anderson said he was not happy with his play on the front nine of the course.

"I caught a flier on [hole] seven," Anderson said. "That’s basically the story of it and I made triple -bogey]. I hit a club that I normally hit 150 yards stock, and I hit it 185 in the air and I didn’t really try to hit it hard and that was an unwelcome surprise."

"I made a mess of that green and made triple-[bogey] and reset and try to scramble," Anderson said. "I made one more bogey coming in and I think I was 3-over with an eagle. I had a few holes that I screwed up."

A release from Michael Doran from the Maine State Golf Association read: After the last group finished play on the 10th hole during the final round in the Maine Amateur Championship, it looked like defending champion Wyman was poised to coast to victory for the second straight year.

At the time, Wyman was cruising along and had opened up a six-shot lead over his overnight trailer Anderson. However, after a stunning charge from Anderson over the rest of the back nine, Wyman held on and narrowly won his second consecutive Maine Amateur title by one stroke.

Wyman opened the tournament at Belgrade Lakes GC with back-to-back 68s, with his two-day total of 136 leading by one shot. He played steady early on in the final round, parring his first five holes before making birdie on the par-5 sixth hole.

When he arrived at the seventh tee, he was two up on Anderson, despite the 17-year-old’s eagle on the sixth. Wyman had played the seventh hole in 3-over par over the first two days of the tournament, one of the few holes on the course that had given him trouble through the first rounds. This day, it was the hole that got Anderson tripped up.

After flying long with his approach into the par 4, Anderson struggled around the green and wound up with a triple-bogey 7. Wyman walked away with par and suddenly led by four shots. The lead grew to six after Anderson had bogeys on eight and 10. That is when Anderson turned it on and made a run that eventually brought the showdown all the way to Belgrade’s 18th hole.

Anderson nearly holed a wedge on 12 that led to a tap-in for birdie, then birdied 14 and 15 in succession. As Wyman continued to hit greens and make easy pars, Anderson had cut the lead to three as the two arrived at the par-5 16th hole. Anderson hit his drive slightly off line and finished in the rough, where he was faced with a shot of 253 yards to a hole tucked in the back of the green behind a bunker.

Where most others would lay up to comfortable wedge range, Anderson hit a towering 2-iron that covered the bunker and finished eight feet from the hole.

The subsequent eagle putt just missed, and despite the missed chance for a rare eagle on 16, the lead was two with two to play.

Wyman and Anderson parred 17 and went to 18 with Wyman still up two. Both players hit the green, and Wyman made it interesting after running his birdie putt six feet past the hole. Anderson, needing to make the tricky downhiller to have a chance, hit a wonderful putt that just missed, leaving him in disbelief before the crowded clubhouse deck filled with spectators.

Wyman then had two putts to win, and lagged his par put short of the hole for an easy tap-in, which led to his only bogey of the day.

The Maine Amateur Championship also determined part of the field for the Match Play Championship in August at Falmouth CC. The top 16 players (and ties) from the Amateur gained an exemption into the match play field next month. In addition, all players who made the cut and advanced to the final round earned an exemption into next year's 100th Maine Amateur Championship at Portland CC.

Earlier play

Anderson finished two strokes ahead of the starting 132-golfer field after the first 18 holes on Tuesday, July 10, then found himself second, one stroke back, of Wyman after round two on Wednesday, July 11.

After 36 holes, Wyman was first at 68-68—136, for a 6-under par total after two rounds of the stroke-play tournament. Anderson was second at 5-under par with 66-71—137. Drew Powell of Penobscot Valley was third at 68-70—138.

Those three were in the final group — which teed off at 9:40 a.m. — for Thursday's final round.

"I played nicely first two days," Anderson said after round two. "I'm in a good spot going into tomorrow. Looking forward to opportunity. Going to have to play some good golf."

Anderson, who finished third in the same tournament last year in Brunswick, was one of six Midcoast golfers to qualify and participate in this week's prestigious Maine Am.

The others, and their two-day totals, were: Wickenden, 75-74—149 (tied 22nd at plus-7), Jones of Samoset, 74-77—151 (tied 35th at plus-9), James Anderson of Rockland Golf Club, 83-77—160 (tied 72nd at plus-18), Jon Hardy of Samoset, 77-83—160 (tied 72nd at plus-18) and Nick Mazurek of Rockland, 81-86—167 (tied 107th at plus-25).

The cut to qualify for the third and final round of the tourney was 153, which meant Cole Anderson, Wickenden and Jones earned the right to play on Thursday, while James Anderson, Jon Hardy and Mazurek failed to qualify.

On Wednesday, Cole Anderson finished with seven pars and two bogeys for a 2-over par 37 on the front nine holes and backed that with four birdies, four pars and a double-bogey on the 334-yard, par-4 15th hole to finish 2-under par 34 on the back nine.

Cole Anderson fired an impressive 5-under 66 on the par-71 course on Tuesday, July 10 and enjoyed a two-stroke advantage over Wyman and Powell.

Cole Anderson is the three-time defending Maine Principals’ Association Class A schoolboy individual golf champion and last year qualified to play in the United States Amateur Golf Tournament. He also has committed to attend and play golf at Florida State University in 2019.

On Tuesday, Cole Anderson carded six birdies and one bogey, to go with 11 pars. He birdied the 510-yard par-5 sixth hole and the 409-yard par-4 seventh on the front nine before firing four more birdies on the back nine holes.

After a bogey on the 10th, Cole Anderson birdied the 568-yard par-5 12th, the 358-yard par-4 14th, the 334-yard par-4 15th and the 400-yard par-4 17th holes.

After the first round, Jones — a three-time winner of the event — and Wickenden were tied for 21st at 3-over par 74, while Hardy was tied for 45th at a 6-over par 77.

Mazurek was tied for 90th at 10-over par 81, while James Anderson was tied for 97th at 12-over 83.

James Anderson recently set the record for the front nine at the Rockland Golf Course with a 29, while Hardy was the medalist in a qualifier for the Maine Amateur in an event on June 26 at Waterville Country Club.

Wickenden and Mazurek, both of whom were recent terrific golfers at Camden Hills Regional and Oceanside high schools, respectively, golf at Husson University in Bangor. Wickenden led the Windjammers to back-to-back state Class B championships in 2013 and 2014, while Mazurek is a two-time MPA state schoolboy golf champion.

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

Maine Amateur Championship golf tournament
Maine Amateur Championship golf tournament day two on July 11 at Belgrade Lakes. (Video by: Zack Miller)
Maine Amateur Championship golf tournament
Maine Amateur Championship golf tournament day three on July 12 at Belgrade Lakes. (Video by: Zack Miller)
Cole Anderson. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Cole Anderson. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Cole Anderson. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Ricky Jones. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
James Anderson. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
James Anderson. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Ricky Jones. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Ricky Jones. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Cole Anderson. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Cole Anderson. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Jon Hardy. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Jon Hardy. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Jon Hardy. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Jon Hardy. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Nick Mazurek. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Nick Mazurek. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Daulton Wickenden, right, and his dad, Jon, who is his caddy. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Daulton Wickenden. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Daulton Wickenden. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
Daulton Wickenden. (Photo by: Zack Miller)
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