FALMOUTH — The improbable is happening at Falmouth Country Club.

After another nearly flawless round Saturday afternoon, Maine amateur Cole Anderson is tied for the lead going into the final round of the Live and Work in Maine Open, an event on the Korn Ferry Tour and one stocked with future PGA Tour players.

Followed by a massive gallery, the 21-year-old Camden native shot a 7-under 64, putting him at 15 under through three rounds. Pierceson Coody, the leader after the second round, birdied his final two holes Saturday to pull even with Anderson.

Anderson’s bid to take down a field of 154 professionals – eight of whom have already earned their card to play on the PGA Tour next season – has made him the talk of the tournament. Throngs of more than 200 supporters began to follow Anderson as he started climbing the leaderboard Saturday, and they were roaring when the rising junior at Florida State went on a tear on the back nine, making five birdies in a six-hole stretch to surge into the lead.

“I’ve never experienced anything like this,” one of those followers said after Anderson hit his 13th straight green in regulation on the 18th hole.

Anderson, playing on a sponsor’s exemption, is trying to become the fourth amateur to win on the Korn Ferry Tour, and the first since 2011. He wasn’t sure how to feel about his position going into the final round.


“I don’t know yet,” said Anderson. “I just felt good. I feel like I should be more uncomfortable out here than I am, but maybe it’s because I’m home and there are a lot of familiar faces around, but that was as much fun as I’ve ever had on a golf course. That was a blast.”

Anderson’s round was free of bogeys, three-putts and mistakes. He needed only 30 putts, which, combined with the 17 greens he hit in regulation, provided the perfect formula for him to go low on the 7,299-yard course.

After back-to-back rounds of 4-under 67, the two-time Maine Amateur champion had a different look Saturday. The free and easy demeanor from the first round was gone, and in its place was a more serious, locked-in visage.

“I think I had to make more of an effort to stay tunnel-visioned, just with everything going on around me,” Anderson said. “I definitely had to lock into more of a blinders on, head down, keep moving (mentality).”

While the stakes rose, so did Anderson’s game. A steady putter helped him make the turn at 2 under for the day, and then he took off on the back nine. On the 12th, he rolled in a birdie putt of between 20 and 25 feet, raising his hand as the gallery cheered. On the par-5 14th, he hit a pitching wedge from 110 yards close to the pin and rolled in the short putt for another birdie.

Three more birdies followed, first on 15 after he put his approach 5 feet from the flag. The birdie gave him sole possession of the lead for the first time. On the par-3 16th, he hit his tee shot about 20 feet from the pin and rolled in a putt that just snuck into the hole.


Anderson pumped his fist emphatically. The crowd erupted in its loudest ovation of the day.

“The roar was a little louder on 15, and then 16, I made that putt and it was loud,” said Anderson, who went on to birdie the par-5 17th. “I kind of did a little lookaround, like ‘Why did that get so much louder?’ It was a lot of people, which was really cool. Mainers support Mainers. It’s what we do.”

After making par on 18, Anderson raised his cap to the full gallery in the viewing area and then started the walk to the scoring area, where autograph seekers were lined up and waiting for him.

“The big thing with Cole now is his maturity level. And his maturity level translates into his golf game,” said Alex Plummer, Anderson’s caddy. “He’s relaxed, which means that his swings are confident. … I’m not surprised by anything he does. No way.”

Anderson was still near the 18th green when Coody stole a little of his thunder. He birdied the 17th and 18th holes to complete a 4-under 67 and grab a share of the lead.

Fabian Gomez (66) was in third at 13 under. John VanDerLaan (70) was four behind and Jacob Bergeron (67) was five shots back.


“It’s really cool,” said Coody, who helped Texas win the NCAA championship earlier this month before turning pro. “I got off to a good start, made some bogeys in the middle of the round, and I would have been happy to end the day with the co-lead. Finishing birdie-birdie was really nice.”

Coody is in his third Korn Ferry event, and tied for fourth last weekend at the Wichita Open. Coody and Anderson are familiar with each other from college competition, and Coody’s face lit up when he learned who he’d be playing with in the final group.

“I had no idea it was Cole,” he said. “He’s got a lot of fans. That’s good golf, and it’s a really cool position for him to be in as an amateur. We’ll have a lot of fun.”

That’s been Anderson’s mission all along.

“I didn’t have any expectations for the week, and to be honest, the plan is to still not have any expectations tomorrow,” he said. “At the end of five hours, we’ll see where it adds up. It’s been a crazy week, a ton of fun, and I’m excited to get to do it for one more day.”

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