GORHAM — The “old” guard of Maine’s junior golf community has set up a final round battle in their last chance to claim a Maine Junior Championship.

Armand Ouellette of Saco, a 2020 graduate of Thornton Academy, eagled the final hole to card a 5-under 66 at Gorham Country Club on Tuesday. His playing partner, Caleb Manuel of Topsham, a 2020 grad of Mt. Ararat High and two-time Varsity Maine Player of the Year, is right behind with a 4-under 67.

Both Ouellette and Manuel won Jr. Am titles in the 13-14 division, but have not claimed a win in the oldest group. The final round of the 36-hole tournament is on Wednesday.

“Every tournament I play is meaningful for me, I’m trying to win it,” said Ouellette, 18. “This being the last time, I don’t know if that puts any more pressure on it. I just want to play well and be proud of myself for however I do.”

Ouellette won the Biddeford-Saco Country Club championship, winning two matches on Sunday in 93-degree heat. Manuel is coming off a third-place finish at the New England Amateur last Thursday.

“This is probably my last junior tournament,” said Manuel, 18, noting that he’ll be headed to the University of Connecticut and its golf team soon. “I kind of signed up last minute. It was my last time and I haven’t won this tournament since I was 14. I came in second so I wanted to play in it. Finish on a high note in my last junior tournament.”


Cade Charron, a 2019 graduate of Mt. Ararat who now plays for Husson University, shot a 1-under 70 and is in third place. He’ll join Ouellette and Manuel in the final threesome, scheduled to tee off at 12:20 p.m.

Charron just made the 18-and-under age requirement to play in the Junior Am. He’ll turn 19 on Monday. Charron and Manuel were high school teammates at Mt. Ararat, helping the Eagles win the 2018 Class A title, and are members at Brunswick Golf Club.

“Obviously me and Caleb play a lot at the club together but we’ve never been paired together in a tournament. It would definitely be cool to play a round of tournament golf with him outside of the club,” Charron said.

Nick McGonagle of Portland (71) and Tom Higgins of South Portland (72) are fourth and fifth, respectively. Higgins, who turns 19 in September, played last season for the University of New England.

Lindsay Cote, 17, of Waterville will take a five-stroke lead into the final of the girls’ 16-18 division over recent Maine Women’s Amateur winner Ruby Haylock, 15, of Hartford.

Cote made 15 pars in a 1-over round of 72. She said only once has she posted a lower score in a competitive event.


“I’ve been really trying to play smart golf and today I set myself to that standard. To not go for all the hero shots. If I hit a bad shot, to take my medicine and just focus on getting it up around the green and making good shots,” Cote said.

Haylock is alone in second at 77. Morgan Duhtil of Turner (79), Remy Levin of Steep Falls (80) and Aurea Carlisle, a summer resident in Georgetown (82) round out the top five for the girls.

Haylock was 4-over for three rounds at the women’s am, winning with a chip-in birdie on the first playoff hole. Tuesday she uncharacteristically mishit a couple approaches on the back nine and a poor chip led to a double-bogey on the 16th hole.

“After the Am I was exhausted so I took the weekend off and I came out to play yesterday and it was so hot, it was ridiculous,” Haylock said. “I don’t know, I’ve been pretty tired lately and I just feel like my focus has been everywhere. It hasn’t been very consistent. So it’s hard to come out and shoot a good score when you can’t really focus on your game.”

In the boys’ 14-15 division, Elliott Spaulding of Freeport shot 77 to lead by two strokes over Russell Dalton of Portland. Marc Twombly of Scarborough shot 78 and leads the boys’ 12-13 division by three strokes. Ruth Weeks of Cumberland shot 84 to take a one-shot lead in the girls 14-15 group.

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