BELGRADE — When he finished his round on Day 1 of the Maine Amateur Championship, Drew Powell was tied for the lead with a minus-3 68. Powell also became something of a prophet when asked if he thought his score would remain at the top of the leaderboard.

“It might be two or three shots back, if that,” Powell, 20, said.

The first day of the first Maine Amateur ever played at Belgrade Lakes Golf Club belonged to one of the youngest players in the field. Cole Anderson, a 17-year old soon-to-be senior at Camden Hills High School, shot a minus-5 66 to end Day 1 with a two-stroke lead over Powell and Jack Wyman, the defending tournament champion.

“I played really steady all day. I just hit a lot of greens. I didn’t put myself in any too difficult spots,” said Anderson, who placed third at last year’s Maine Am at Brunswick Country Club.

The winner of the last three Class A high school individual titles, Anderson took the lead with a dominant back nine. After a bogey on 10, his only bogey of the day, Anderson birdied four of his final eight holes. Anderson completed his round with a birdie on 18 to take his two stroke lead over Wyman and Powell.

Mark Plummer plays in the Maine Amateur Championship on Tuesday at the Belgrade Golf Club. He finished with a 74.

“Eighteen’s such a good finishing hole. You have to hit two pretty quality shots to have a look,” Anderson said. “Honestly, I thought the whole golf course was set up nicely. I thought it was fair. I thought it was difficult enough that you had to play good golf, but there were shots out there. You could score.”

Nine players finished under par, proving Anderson’s point. After Wyman and Powell, three players — Ashley Fifield, Caleb Manuel, and Joe Alvarez — sat at minus-2, with a pair of Maine Am winners, Andrew Slattery and John Hayes IV, at minus-1, along with Bill Boyington.

Wyman was the first golfer on the course. Traditionally, the first hole at Belgrade Lakes, a par 4,435 yard downhill run from the tee, is one of the course’s most difficult tournament holes. Wyman birdied it, showing no tournament jitters, nor feeling extra pressure as defending champ.

“That’s just one you kind of have to buckle down and hit a good one. I think if you ponder over what you’re going to hit too long, it can cause some issues. I just went driver and ripped one down the middle,” Wyman, 27, of South Freeport, said. “There’s a lot of guys out here that can play well and win. Last year was nice, but you kind of have to reset and do it all over again.”

Wyman said playing tournament golf at Belgrade Lakes as a member of Maine’s Tri-State team against Vermont and New Hampshire in 2016 helped him handle the course’s nuances. Wyman had just one major hiccup in his round,

Jack Wyman plays during the Maine Amateur Championship on Tuesday at the Belgrade Golf Club. He finished with three under par 68 after the first round.

on hole seven. His tee shot was unplayable on the rocks to the left of the fairway. Wyman’s drop ended up back on the edge of the rocks, and he managed to punch out. After finding the bunker to the left of the green, Wyman was able to salvage a double bogey six, bringing his round back to even.

“That hole’s always given me fits,” the left-handed Wyman said of hole seven. “That dog-leg right doesn’t fit my eye too well. (Wednesday) I’ll just play a little more to the right. If I get by there, I can get it rolling.”

Wyman recovered from his debacle on seven to par holes eight and nine, setting up his effort on the back nine.

“I didn’t hit a good shot on eight, but I was able to make a par, so I was kind of able to gather myself,” Wyman said. “I thought if I stuck around par on the front, which I did, I could have some chances coming in.”

Wyman birdied 12, 15 and 17 on the back nine to finish with his minus-3. While Wyman and Anderson were strong on the back nine, Powell struggled. The 20-year old Bangor High grad and rising Brown University sophomore was four under after nine holes, and a birdie on 11 dropped him to minus-five. But bogeys on 13 and 17 cut into Powell’s score. Powell called his birdie on hole nine the highlight of his round.

“The ninth hole, I consider the toughest hole on the golf course, and I birdied it. So when I did that, I felt like I picked up one or two,” Powell said. “The back nine, I did not hit it good at all. I was sort of just dragging it to the house, trying to get in.”

Cole Anderson shot a 66 on the first day of play in the Maine Amateur Championship on Tuesday at the Belgrade Golf Club.

Anderson will take to Belgrade Lakes at 11:40 a.m. Wednesday looking to increase his lead. Last year, Anderson played in the U.S. Amateur Championship, and after one more year at Camden Hills, he’ll play college golf at Florida State. Despite his age, Anderson said his experience playing pressure golf will help as the Maine Am continues for two more days.

“Anytime you’re playing tournament golf, I guess you can learn from it. The more tournament golf I play, the more comfortable I feel,” Anderson said.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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