FALMOUTH — Cole Anderson walked after his putt, saw it start to turn and raised his putter as the ball fell into the cup.

A professional-caliber moment from a professional-caliber player.

Anderson, a 21-year-old amateur from Camden, made the cut Friday and placed himself near the top of the field at the Korn Ferry Tour’s Live and Work in Maine Open, shooting a second straight 4-under 67 at Falmouth Country Club to go into the weekend in a five-way tie for third, only three shots off the lead.

“You just stick to one shot at a time,” Anderson said. “I’m enjoying the heck out of this.”

There have been plenty of storylines around the tournament, such as leader Pierceson Coody’s event-record 9-under 62 from earlier in the day, but it’s hard to beat the narrative surrounding Anderson, who became the first amateur to make the cut in a Korn Ferry Tour event since Khavish Varadan in July 2021, and who is suddenly in the discussion to become the first amateur to actually win one since Harris English in 2011.

All while playing in his first professional tournament, no less.


“I think I’ve wrapped my head around it,” he said. “It still doesn’t change anything. The game plan from here on is that I’m going to try to hit a well-struck 4-iron off the first tee tomorrow, and go from there. I’m not going to project any further out than that.”

Anderson was one of two Maine amateurs in the field. Topsham’s Caleb Manuel put himself in position to make the cut with a 1-under 70 Thursday, but he struggled to a 3-over 74 in the second round and missed the cut by three strokes.

“To miss it by a few, it stings,” said Manuel, 20. “My game’s there to compete out here. I said at the beginning of the week, that’s my goal.”

While Anderson used precision to go low Thursday, hitting 17 greens, his weapon Friday was the short game. He saved par on the eighth hole with a soft chip to a tight pin. He hit his tee shot on the par-3 11th into a bunker but splashed out to 6 feet and made the par putt. On the 13th, he hit his approach through the green and onto the back fringe, but chipped in for his third birdie of the day.

Such shots didn’t used to be in his repertoire.

“I’ve always kind of been able to hit it,” Anderson said. “When I got to college, I realized really quickly I had nothing around the greens compared to a lot of the kids on my team. If you called the coaches at Florida State and asked what’s the one thing they’d tell you to do, it’s go to the short-game area and just stay there.”


His best shot, though, came on the 10th, after he hit his second shot into a hill just behind the green.

“It felt like jail,” he said.

Anderson’s chip from the downhill slope dropped perfectly on the fringe, hopped once and rolled slowly to roughly 2 feet away, causing Anderson to raise his fist in triumph.

“I was looking at a spot on the fringe, and I think I landed it maybe 2 inches off of where I was looking,” he said. “That was definitely the shot of today.”

Until, perhaps, the 18th, when Anderson, just under 25 feet from a fifth birdie of the round, hit a winding putt that found the hole, to the delight of the gallery in the viewing area.

“It went 90 degrees right at the end, and I started walking to see if it had a chance,” he said. “I saw it on the left lip, and I was like ‘Oh, it’s about to break half a ball more and go in dead center.’ And it did. Great feeling.”


For Manuel, there was a feeling of being stuck in neutral after a day in which he frequently dazzled on his way to seven birdies. He birdied only one hole Friday, the par-4 12th, making his four bogeys even more damaging.

“I just got nothing going all day,” Manuel said. “That was pretty frustrating, to not see a lot of birdies go in and just keep making kind of sloppy bogeys.”

The par-5 17th summed up those frustrations. Manuel, who started on the 10th, was looking for birdie after four straight pars, but had his chip run through the green and ended up with a bogey.

“I think that’s kind of where it started to go a little bit downhill,” he said.

A three-putt on the third hole – Manuel’s 12th – and a wayward drive on the fourth put him outside the cut. He needed a birdie-birdie finish to give himself a chance, but missed a 9-foot putt on the eighth to dash those hopes.

Disappointed as he was, Manuel saw the positives in the result – a 13-shot improvement from 2021 – and for having a chance to make the cut.

“It’s a process,” said Manuel, who played in the U.S. Open last week after winning a qualifying event. “Now, I’m a little bit frustrated. But you look back, I won the qualifier, I played in the U.S. Open, and I played in another pro event; not a lot of amateurs are doing that in the country.”

The tournament field began to settle on its second day. Coody’s 62 tied the tournament record set by Joshua Creel last season, and he finished the day at 11-under overall, one shot ahead of John VanDerLaan. The group at 8 under included Anderson, Kyle Westmoreland, Fabian Gomez, Nelson Ledesma and Brandon Harkins, who shot a 63.

“I kept having good 10-, 20-foot looks and made a bunch of them,” said Coody, who birdied seven holes and eagled another. “A lot of things went my way, obviously.”

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