CUMBERLAND, Maine — Once again, ignorance was bliss for Will Kannegieser.
Coming down the final fairway on Wednesday, the Minot resident didn’t know his status in the final round of the Maine Junior Amateur Championship.
Like last year, what he didn’t know didn’t get in the way of claiming a second consecutive title with a final round score of 74. That was enough to edge out Bangor’s Drew Powell, who finished two strokes back.
Kannegieser shot 3-under 33 on the back nine to rally from behind. He even sank a birdie putt on the final hole — even though he didn’t need it. His two-day score was 144. Powell was at 146.
“I thought I had to make that putt,” Kannegieser said. “I legitimately thought that if he made birdie, I had to make it to force a playoff. When he made it, I was happy for him, of course, but it put a lot of pressure on me, but I was able to do it.”
Drew Kane was third at 148 after a second round 72. Christopher Billings finished at 151 with last year’s runner-up, Luke Ruffing of Manchester, fifth at 152.
“I’m so glad I could win it again before I have to move on,” said Kannegieser, a senior at Gould, who won’t be in the junior field next year.
Two bogeys and a pair of doubles had his round in jeopardy. Both he and Powell finished the front at 41, putting Kannegieser one stroke back after being up by as many as four.
Powell had a bogey on No. 12 to make them even. Then Kannegieser had back-to-back birdies on 14 and 15. Powell had a pair of bogeys on 16 and 17. He finished with a birdie putt on 18. Kannegieser matched that birdie putt with his own to secure the two-shot win.
“I made some big putts early, and I made some big putts coming down the stretch,” Kannegieser said. “My putter was working great these last few days. That’s why I won.”
Powell had the lead after the first round with a 69, but Kannegieser was just one shot back.
Though Powell had two birdies on the back, his 9 on the front and back-to-back bogeys on 16 and 17 foiled his chances.
“I think Drew, by far, was the most consistent on the front and most of the back, except for the nine,” Kannegieser said. “He played pretty fabulously. He was really solid.”
On the girls’ side, Fairfield’s Kelsie Dessent won with a final score of 159. She shot a 77 Wednesday to beat out Erin Holmes (173). Dessent, who competes out of Natanis Golf Course in Vassalboro, had finished tied for 18th at the Maine Women’s Amateur recently at Waterville Country Club.
Cape Elizabeth’s Lauren Schonewolf shot a final-round 91, but she won by one stroke, 169-170, over Bailey Plourde in the 13-14 age group. Plourde of Newcastle had tied for third in the Maine Women’s Amateur.
In the boys’ 13-14 group, Ryan Collins won by two strokes with a 157. Thomas Higgins finished second at 159.
In the 12-and-under group, Ryder Henry finished with an 85 and beat Evan Glicos by three strokes.