A field of 132 golfers will tee it up Tuesday for the opening round of the 100th Maine Amateur Golf Championship at Portland Country Club.

And, “there’s probably 15 guys every year that could win,” said 2015 champion John Hayes IV, 29, of Portland.

With two-time defending champion Jack Wyman recently turning pro, it further opens the door for one of several young players to win their first title.

Reese McFarlane, 21, tamed the PCC layout at last summer’s New England Amateur for a two-stroke victory. McFarlane, of Cape Elizabeth, is coming off his junior season at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.

Camden’s Cole Anderson, 18, was second by a stroke in last year’s tournament at Belgrade Lakes and third in 2017. He spent the winter and spring playing in Florida after enrolling at Florida State University in January. Anderson red-shirted this spring but did play in several amateur tournaments as an independent. He won the Florida Azalea in Palatka, Florida, in March and tied for fifth at the Terra Cotta Invitational in Naples, Florida, in late April.

Anderson said Portland C.C. is one of the few courses in Maine he has never played. He, like the other players in the field, were allowed a practice round at the private course. Anderson planned to play the course on Monday.

“The goal every year is to win, for sure,” Anderson said. “I feel like I put myself in good position the last couple of years. I’m looking forward to getting another crack at it.”

Reigning Maine schoolboy champ Caleb Manuel, 17, of Topsham finished fifth last year. Manuel, who will be a senior at Mt. Ararat High, has committed to play at the University of Connecticut. He qualified for next week’s U.S. Junior Amateur at Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio (July 15-20) by winning a qualifier at Rockrimmon Country Club in Stamford, Connecticut, on June 18 with a 5-under 67.

Drew Powell, 21, of Holden placed fourth last year. Will Kannegeiser, 21, of Minot qualified for the U.S. Amateur in 2018.

Hayes, 2014 winner Andrew Slattery, 30, of Minot, and Joe Baker, 33, of Oxford are among the likely contenders. Baker finished third in 2016 at York, fourth in 2017 at Brunswick and seventh last year.

“I’m excited to play Portland,” Hayes said. “It’s definitely one of the best courses in Maine, probably the best condition-wise when it’s in good shape.”

Portland’s relatively short (6,466 yards) par-70 layout could help a veteran make a charge.

“It kind of sets up for some of the older guys because it’s a shorter course,” Hayes said. “It’s pretty wide open on the front, so you can still have looks for birdie off the fairway. There are only two par-5s, so it’s not going to really favor the longer hitters. Really, it’s just a putting contest.”

“I would have agreed with (Hayes) until I played the practice round (July 1),” said 13-time winner Mark Plummer, 67, of Manchester. “It was pretty soft. Unless it dries out, it’s playing pretty long. I was playing with Drew Powell, and he was 50, 60 yards ahead of me. It’s just a matter of whether it dries up or not. I need that extra 15, 20 yards of roll.”

Since Plummer’s last win in 2002, Ricky Jones, 47, of Thomaston is the only player age 30 or older to win the Maine Amateur. He did it three times – in match play in 2003 and 2004 when he was 31 and 32, and at age 41 in 2013 with the current stroke-play format.

NOTES: The youngest player in this year’s Maine Amateur is Kellen Adickes, 12, of Bristol. Adickes qualified with a 5-over 76 at Poland Springs on June 24. The oldest player is Truman Libby, 73, of Leeds. Libby shot a 76 at the third and final qualifier on June 27 at Waterville Country Club. … Mike Arsenault, Jr., 25, a left-hander from Gorham, won the qualifier at Biddeford-Saco with a 2-under 69. Arsenault, who worked as a club pro, regained his amateur status last fall. … This is the 14th time Portland Country Club has hosted the Maine Amateur, the first since Ryan Gay won his third title in four years in 2011. … After the first two rounds, the field will be cut to the low 40 scores (plus ties) for Thursday’s final round. Making the cut earns an exemption to the 2020 championship, to be played at Biddeford-Saco Country Club.

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