Topsham’s Caleb Manuel was seeking a clean, solid round on Thursday after two up-and-down rounds that included a triple bogey, three double bogeys and four bogeys to go with 10 birdies.
He achieved his goal, collecting two birdies and no bogeys en route to a two-under par 68, to win the 102nd annual Maine Amateur Golf Tournament at the Kebo Valley Golf Club in Bar Harbor.
He won by one shot, over Will Kannegieser of Minot.
Manuel, who plays out of the Brunswick Golf Club, finished with a one-over-par 211 after shooting a 68 on Tuesday and a 75 on Wednesday. The 19-year-old is Maine’s best amateur golfer, having won the Downeast Metro Amateur Golf Tournament in June.
“This is really special,” said Manuel, who was playing in his fourth Maine Amateur with his previous best being a fourth-place finish. “I’ve always wanted to win the Maine Amateur. I’ve had good finishes the last three years.”
Manuel, Kannegieser and Hampden native Joe Alvarez entered Thursday’s round tied for the lead.
Kannegieser shot a 69 on Thursday after a 73 on Tuesday and 70 on Wednesday for a two-over par 212. He had four birdies and three bogeys during his round.
Alvarez shot a three-over-par 73 to finish in a third place tie with Alex McGonagle of the Val Halla Golf Course in Cumberland Center at six-over-par 216. McGonagle shot a 68 on Thursday.
“Consistency was my game plan today,” said Manuel, who was the Big East Rookie of the Year and a first team All-Big East selection for the University of Connecticut this spring.
He said he kept the ball in the fairway most of the time and put the ball in good spots on Kebo’s 6,131-yard layout.
“When I would miss the green, it was just by a little so I left myself an easy up-and-down,” Manuel said.
It was a well-placed eight-iron to the green on the par four 17th hole that all but sewed up the win for Manuel.
The former two-time state Class A individual and team champion from Mount Ararat High School had a one-shot lead over Kannegieser when they teed off at the 17th.
“I put it 7 feet from the cup and [Kannegieser and Alvarez] flew their [shots] over the green,” said Manuel, who drained the tricky putt for his par while Kannegieser and Alvarez wound up with bogeys on the hole.
That expanded his lead to two shots over Kannegieser and gave him some valuable breathing room going into the final hole.
Manuel registered a par on the 18th while Kannegieser closed out his round with a birdie.
Kannegieser, who used to play for Williams College in Massachusetts and represents the Portland Country Club, birdied the seventh, 10th, 14th and 18th holes and bogeyed the second, eighth and 17th holes.
Alvarez, who now plays his golf at the Webhannet Golf Club in Kennebunk, took a one-shot lead over Manuel after four holes as he sandwiched birdies at one and four around a bogey at the third hole.
But a double bogey at nine left him two shots behind Manuel after nine holes. Kanngieser also shot a 35 over the front nine while Manuel fired a 33.
Alvarez also bogeyed 13 and 17.
Kannegieser pulled within one shot of Manuel with a birdie at 11 but he and Manuel matched birdies at 14 and pars at 15 and 16.
Mike Arsenault Jr. from Val Halla was fifth at 217 and former winners John Hayes IV (2015) of the Purpoodock Club in Cape Elizabeth and Andrew Slattery (2014) of the Portland Country Club tied for sixth at 218.
Three-time winner Ricky Jones of the Samoset Resort in Rockport and Jason Gail of the Portland Country Club tied for eighth at 219 and there were five tied for 10th at 221.
That list included three-time winner Ryan Gay of the Augusta Country Club, Sam Weiss from the Blue Hill Country Club, Drew Powell from Orono’s Penobscot Valley Country Club, Drew Glasheen from the Waterville Country Club and Conner Paine from the Natanis Golf Course in Vassalboro.