SACO — Cole Anderson, 19, proved for the second straight year that his consistency and shot making are tough to beat at the Maine Amateur.

Anderson, of Camden, shot a 6-under 65 Thursday at Biddeford-Saco Country Club to win the 101st Maine State Golf Association Amateur Championship by six strokes with a 10-under 203 total.

Anderson’s final round was the best of the tournament, and he broke the Maine Amateur record for best score in relation to par – one shot better than his score in 2019, when he won by eight strokes at Portland Country Club.

He played his final 39 holes of the 54-hole tournament without a bogey and hit 34 of his final 36 greens in regulation. For Anderson, all his impressive stats were secondary.

“I get to hold the trophy again. I don’t really care how I do it,” Anderson said. “It was great to play such stress-free golf, but all that really matters to me is to have the trophy when I leave and we got it done. Couldn’t be happier.”

John Hayes, 30, of Portland, who set the previous scoring record of 9 under in his win at Waterville Country Club in 2015, finished second at 4 under with a final-round 68. Afterward, he put Anderson’s two-year dominance in perspective.

“Incredibly impressive,” Hayes said. “He tied the record last year for most under par, and now he just beat the record. It’s cool to see. His ball-striking is obviously superior to anyone in Maine. I mean, two rounds without any bogeys, that’s pretty impressive, especially for Maine golf.”

For the second straight day, players took advantage of the course’s excellent condition.

Will Kannegeiser, 23, of Minot placed third with a final-round 69 for a 3-under total. Caleb Manuel, 18, of Topsham was fourth at 2 under, making a birdie on his final hole for a 70.

Drew Powell, 22, of Holden was fifth at 1 under after an up-and-down, even-par round alongside Anderson and Mike Arsenault, 26, of Gorham in the final group. Arsenault shot a 76 and was tied for 13th at 4 over.

Anderson, a sophomore at Florida State with pro aspirations, closed out his victory with an 18-foot birdie putt into the heart of the cup, in front of approximately 200 spectators around Biddeford-Saco’s ninth green. The final round started on No. 10.

“I spent a little extra time reading it. I could have probably just lagged it up and tapped it in. But I wanted it to go in pretty bad, and it was dead center,” Anderson said.

Everyone who made the cut will be exempt for next year’s tournament at Kebo Valley in Bar Harbor. Rounding out the top 10 were Joe Walp of Portland, Joe Hamilton of Biddeford-Saco Country Club and Tim Desmarais of Saco, who tied for sixth at even par; and Bennett Berg of Portland, Reese McFarlane of Cape Elizabeth and Logan Thompson of Lincoln, who tied for ninth at 2 over. Berg, a 16-year-old, shot a final-round 66.

It was Anderson’s fourth straight top-three finish. He was third in 2017 and second by a shot in 2018 to Jack Wyman at Belgrade Lakes.

Anderson’s consistent iron play – both off the tee and approaching greens – produced a barrage of birdie opportunities over the final two rounds. Both days, he barely missed multiple birdie putts from modest range.

“He’s so refined,” said Randy Hodsdon, the MSGA’s longtime tournament director. “This could have been a 15-shot win if he had made some putts.”

Anderson, who plays out of Samoset Resort, started the day with a three-shot lead and took firm grasp of the tournament with three straight birdies on No. 17, No. 18 and No. 1.

On the 333-yard 18th (his ninth hole), Anderson’s high, lofting wedge hit the back edge of the elevated green and backed up to within 4 inches of the cup.

“I hit it and it was covering the flag and I knew that slope back there. I either had to step on a gap wedge or hit a normal pitching wedge, and I went with the normal wedge,” Anderson said.

By the time Anderson reached his 14th hole of the day – the 410-yard No. 5 – he had a six-stroke lead and was 9 under. His lengthy but slightly left tee shot left him with a tall, wide pine blocking his approach to the green, producing a rare spot of potential trouble. Instead of punching a safe shot around the tree, Anderson hammered down on his swing, soaring the ball over the tree and onto the green, 15 feet from the pin.

A fan following the action said loudly, “That’s why you’re the champion.”

For the second year in a row.

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