GORHAM — The shot will be talked about in Maine for decades. Caleb Manuel will never forget it.

His double eagle on the 18th hole to the win the Maine State Golf Association Junior Championship on Wednesday.

Tied with Armand Ouellette entering the final hole, Manuel was just into the right rough 193 yards to the hole on the par-5 18th at Gorham Country Club. Ouellette was already on the green in two shots for a good eagle chance. Manuel’s 6-iron came out high and true with an intended right-to-left draw, bounced once to get on the green and then rolled like a putt for 10 feet straight into the hole. Three under on one hole, also known as an albatross.

The shot was pure all the way. Playing partner Chad Carron, Manuel’s former teammate at Mt. Ararat High, said “go in.” When it did, the normally stoic Manuel jumped in the air and chest bumped with Carron, then hugged nearby friends and his father, Patrick Manuel.

“That was probably the biggest rush I’ve had playing golf and probably the biggest rush I’ll ever have until I maybe do something bigger in the future years but – an albatross to win by one? That’s something you don’t see every day,” Manuel said.

Manuel finished the tournament at 9 under, with rounds of 67 and 66. That set a junior amateur record for the lowest overall score and tied Austen Truslow’s relation-to-par record set in 2012. Truslow, who summered in Maine with grandparents but was from Florida, is now on the PGA’s Korn Ferry Tour.


It’s been quite a summer for Manuel, an 18-year-old Topsham resident and 2020 Mt. Ararat High grad. He broke a Brunswick Golf Club course record with a 59 in May. Last week he finished third in the New England Amateur. And in a couple weeks the two-time Varsity Maine Golfer of the Year will head to the University of Connecticut on a golf scholarship.

Ouellette, 18, of Saco and 2020 graduate of Thornton Academy, had put the pressure on Manuel with a lasered hybrid from about 250 yards that got to the 18th green. Ouellette would end up making his eagle putt, to finish at 8 under (66-68-134).

“I was thinking I’d at least have a putt to try to win it,” Ouellette said. “What Caleb did was incredible. That was the greatest shot I’ve seen, especially under those circumstances.”

“Cade said, ‘OK, you know what you have to do.’ I didn’t take too much time, lined it up, got up there and swung it and it was all over (the flag) the whole time and then just disappeared. That was one of the purest shots I hit of the day,” Manuel said.

Starting the day with a one-stroke lead, Ouellette did get his lead to two shots with a birdie on the sixth hole but never shook Manuel. The players were tied at 7 under after Manuel birdied the par-3 15th. But Manuel three-putted for the second time in the round on the 16th, and Ouellette was looking at birdie putt on the 17th to take a two-shot lead.

Ouellette’s birdie putt rimmed out, then so did his short par putt. Instead of being two shots ahead, Ouellette had found himself tied again, opening the door for the dramatic finish.


Bennet Berg (75-68) and Nick McGonagle (71-72), both of Portland, and Tom Higgins (72-71) of South Portland tied for third with 1-over 143 totals. Charron (70-74–144) finished sixth at 2 over.

In the girls’ division, Lindsay Cote, 17, of Waterville started the day with a five-stroke lead over 2020 Maine Women’s Amateur champ Ruby Haylock, 15, of Hartford and claimed her first junior championship with a two-day 72-77–149 total, winning by four strokes.

“I didn’t sleep much last night. I was really nervous and I knew that Ruby (Haylock) was going to come out today and play really strong and she did, she beat me by one,” Cote said.

But it was Cote who started better, with birdies on her first two holes to stretch her lead over Haylock to eight shots, giving her enough cushion to weather some struggles on the back nine. Haylock finished second with a 77-76–153 total.

“Starting good early gave me the momentum to just keep fighting, even though I didn’t play as well on the back, I just knew I just had to keep doing what I had done the past two days and know it would be OK,” Cote said.

Remy Levin of Standish finished third at 80-79–159.


Also on Wednesday, Charlie Sands, 9, of Gorham made a hole-in-one on the 113-yard par-3 13th hole. Sands was competing in the 9-hole 11-and-under portion of the tournament.

Other age-group winners were: Eli Spaulding of Freeport (boys’ 14-15), Joe Hansen of Cumberland (boys’ 12-13), Ruth Weeks of Cumberland (girls’ 14-15), Drew Mertzel of Winthrop (boys’ 11-under) and McKenna Castle (girls’ 13-under).

UPDATE: This story was corrected at 1:20 p.m. on July 30 to show that Armand Ouellette’s shot to the 18th green traveled about 250 yards.


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