Caleb Manuel tees off at the start of his round of the Maine Event on June 26 at the Augusta Country Club in Manchester. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel

If Caleb Manuel is going to win his third straight Maine Amateur title this week, he will likely have to overcome some soggy conditions at at the Samoset Resort Golf Course in Rockport.

“It’s exciting,” said Manuel, a Mt. Ararat High graduate who recently wrapped his junior year at the University of Georgia. “I’m looking forward to it, I’m just excited for the opportunity.”

Manuel enters the Maine Amateur as one of the favorites in the three-day tournament, which begins Tuesday. Manuel — the two-time defending Maine Am champ — will be among the first group to tee off at 7:30 a.m.

Weather may present a challenge for the players as rain is in the forecast early in the tournament.

“As a casual golfer or a competitive golfer, it’s just hard,” Manuel said. “Summer is supposed to be the time when you’re out (enjoying) the outdoors. In a tournament, it’s exhausting, too, because you’re trying to keep your grips (on your clubs) dry. But it all comes down to mentality in tournaments, where you just kind of know that most people (are dealing with it), too. You’ve got to find a way to get it around. But just from a golfer aspect, I certainly wish it would be more sunny.”

Manuel won the Maine Event tournament on June 27 at the Augusta Country Club in Manchester. He shot a 9-under 131 during the two-day tournament, topping second-place finisher Shawn Warren (4-under 136) by five strokes. Last year, Manuel overcame some late struggles to win the Maine Am by four strokes, shooting a 6-under 207 and holding off Mike Arsenault at Kennebunk’s Webhannet Golf Club.


Arsenault is set to tee off at 7:41 a.m. on Tuesday.

Caleb Manuel reacts after making a birdie on the 14th hole in the final round of the Maine Amateur at Webhannet Golf Club in Kennebunk on July 14, 2022. Manuel won the tournament with a 207. Gregory Rec/Portland Press Herald

“During a round, I try not to be too concerned with what other guys are doing,” Manuel said. “I don’t really like to know what the other guys are doing, unless they are in my group or in the final round. For me, it’s just playing my game and against the golf course. It’s just knowing my limits, playing against myself and the golf course. That’s what’s going to be important for me this week. You can’t really control what (other) players do.”

Manuel would join rare company if he wins his third straight Maine Am, joining Dick Diversi (five straight from 1953-1957) and Mark Plummer as the only golfers to win three straight. Plummer did it on two separate occasions on the way to 13 Maine Am titles. The tournament will start with 132 players and will be cut to 40 for the final round on Thursday.

Among Manuel’s challenges is 15-year old Jack Quinn. A Gardiner Area High School student, Quinn shot a 3-over 143 at the Maine Event, including a 1-under 69 in the first round. Quinn finished eighth overall and had the lowest score of all junior players.

“I played well the first day (of the Maine Event), I was pretty steady,” Quinn said. “I definitely should have been better than that, but I’m not going to be mad with a 69 on the first day. The second day, I was a little sloppy there, a few mistakes. But I won my division, and it was a little boost of confidence coming into (the Maine Am).”

Quinn will enter the Maine Am on the mend from a rib injury suffered during a recent round of play.


Jack Quinn, 15, of Gardiner, right, tees off on the second hold as Shawn Warren watches during the opening round of the Maine Event on June 26 at the Augusta Country Club in Manchester. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel

“I should be good to go on Tuesday; I’ll be ready to play,” Quinn said. “I pulled a rib and my hip popped out of place. I had to get them popped back in by a chiropractor.”

Other notable challengers include Garrett Olson of Brunswick and Drew Glasheen of Oakland, who finished third and fourth, respectively, at the Maine Event. Waterville’s Connor Paine will also compete — he was tied for eighth place with Quinn at the Maine Event.

Both Quinn and Manuel are looking forward to playing on the Samoset seaside course.

“I played it (Sunday) for the first time ever, the ocean (view) is the best part,” Quinn said. “If the course wasn’t on the ocean, it would be like any other course. When you put that course on the ocean, there’s some cool holes. The first hole is 40 yards wide and if you go right, you’re in a pond and if you go left, you’re in a hazard.”

“The front nine is right on the ocean,” Manuel added. “The front nine is Par 34 and the front nine is Par 37. That’s a little unique, where there’s five par threes and four par fives. And they’re all kind of spread out. There’s some tricky greens. It’s just kind of knowing that and keeping it (near the cup) on those holes.”

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