Cole Anderson stepped to the tee at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday with the first group of players during the first round of the 100th Maine Amateur Championship.
The former Camden Hills High School star set an impressive tone for himself and the rest of the field at Portland Country Club in Falmouth. The 18-year-old Anderson, playing out of the Samoset Resort, shot a 5-under-par 65 to seize the lead in the state’s premier amateur golf tournament.
Anderson carded six birdies and made only a single bogey to take a three-shot advantage over Joe Alvarez of Webhannet Golf Course and Garrett Olson of Brunswick Golf Course, each of whom posted a 2-under 68.
Anderson continued his exceptional play in the Maine Amateur as he finished second last year at Belgrade Lakes Golf Course after placing third in 2017 at Brunswick Golf Club.
Anderson was runner-up last year at Belgrade Lakes GC and finished third in 2017 at Brunswick GC.
Anderson played in a threesome with Bangor native Len Cole, a member of the host course, and Ryan Collins of Purpoodock Club in Cape Elizabeth. Cole finished tied for 11th, eight shots back, at 73, while Collins shot 88.
Caleb Manuel of Brunswick, 17, and Scott Sirois of The Woodlands are tied for fourth at even par with Reese McFarlane of Purpoodock, Joe Walp of Falmouth and Lucas Roop of Biddeford-Saco Country Club sitting six strokes off the lead after shooting 71s.
Alvarez is a multiple winner of the MSGA Mid-Amateur Championships, while Olson has returned to competitive golf after a stint as a minor league baseball player. He is playing in his first Maine Amateur since 2011.
Manuel edged Anderson last fall to win the overall title in the Maine high school golf ranks, ending Anderson’s three-year reign. Manuel also finished tied for fifth in last month’s Downeast Metro Amateur tournament held in Bar Harbor and Bangor.
Tuesday’s round also featured an unusual pairing with Kellen Adickes (Samoset Resort) and Truman Libby (Springbrook GC) playing together.
Adickes is only 12 years old and is believed to be the youngest competitor in Maine Amateur history. Libby is 61 years older at age 73.
Second-round play begins at 7:30 a.m. and after Wednesday’s action the field will be cut to the low 40 players and ties. The final round is set for Thursday.