Reigning Maine Amateur golf champion Cole Anderson of Camden narrowly missed his second berth to play in the U.S. Amateur golf tournament in three years during a qualifying event Monday at The Ledges in York.
Anderson finished third among a field of 34 starters with a 36-hole total of 2-under par 142 on the par-72 layout, but only the top two finishers earned trips to the 119th U.S. Amateur that will be contested at Pinehurst, North Carolina, in mid-August.
Calvin Ross, a Fredericton, New Brunswick, native who plays collegiate golf at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas, birdied four of the last six holes during his second round of the day to finish with the lowest score at 5-under-par 139.
That was one stroke better than fellow Canadian Joey Savoie, who finished at 4-under 140.
The 18-year-old Anderson, who qualified for the 2017 U.S. Amateur at the Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, California, as a 16-year-old rising junior at Camden Hills Regional High School in Rockport, finished two strokes behind Savoie.
The former three-time Maine Class A state champion used a birdie on the final hole of his first round to finish in a four-way tie for fourth place at even-par 72 midway through the event. That round featured two birdies, two bogeys and 14 pars.
The Florida State University freshman improved on that total during the afternoon round, amassing four birdies and two bogeys on route to a 2-under 70 to bring his 36-hole total to 2-under 142.
At the time he trailed only Savoie, a product of the Montreal suburb of La Prairie, Quebec, who last year won the U.S. Amateur qualifier in Lexington, Kentucky.
Savoie, who helped Saint Leo (Florida) University win the 2016 NCAA Division II golf championship before moving on to earn All-Conference USA recognition at Middle Tennessee University, followed his opening-round 72 at The Ledges with a 4-under 68 that featured four birdies and no bogeys and tied for the day’s low round.
Anderson then had to wait while Ross completed his final 18 holes.
Ross’ 3-under-par 69 was the best opening round of the day, but a double-bogey and a bogey on his first two holes of the afternoon round brought him back to the pack. Ross finished the front nine of his final 18 at 1-over 37.
But while Ross followed a birdie at the 12th hole with a bogey at 13, he then scored birdies at 14, 15 and 18 for a 3-under par 33 on his final back nine to secure the one-stroke victory over Savoie.
Ross’ final round included seven birdies, three bogeys, one double bogey and seven pars.
Runner-up among the eight Mainers participating in the sectional qualifier was Logan Thompson of Lincoln. The former four-time Class C state champion from Mattanawcook Academy, who competed as a freshman this year at Methodist University in Fayetteville, North Carolina, followed up an opening-round 75 with a final-round 73 to finish tied for ninth at 4-over-par 148.