Topsham’s Caleb Manuel and Camden’s Cole Anderson are looking forward to teeing it up with the pros when the second annual Live and Work in Maine Korn Ferry Tour tournament begins on Thursday at the Falmouth Country Club.
It will be a four-day, 72-hole tournament, with cuts being made after the second round.
Chad Remy from Fulton, Mississippi, won last year’s inaugural event with a 16-under-par 268 over the par-71, 7,372-yard layout.
It will be the first time the 21-year-old Anderson has played in a major pro tournament, while Manuel is fresh off his appearance in the U.S. Open at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts, where he shot a 17-over-par 157.
The 20-year-old Manuel played in last year’s Live and Work in Maine tournament and shot a 16-over 158 and missed the cut.
Manuel is a two-time All-Big East selection from the University of Connecticut and was last year’s Rookie of the Year. He shared medalist honors at the Big East Tournament this season and finished tied for 15th at the New Haven Regional.
Anderson, who plays golf for Florida State, tied for 40th among 169 golfers at the NCAA Division I National Championship Tournament at the Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Anderson and Manuel each received sponsor’s exemptions to play in the tournament.
The Korn Ferry Tour is one step below the PGA Tour, and the top 25 finishers based on points receive their PGA Tour cards for next season. There is a three-tournament series after the regular season from which the top 25 also receive PGA tour cards.
“I’m looking forward to the opportunity,” said Anderson, who played in an amateur tournament in Pennsylvania this past weekend to prepare for the Korn Ferry event.
“I’m glad I am able to play in it, and I’m looking forward to having a good week,” Anderson said.
Manuel shot a 13-over-par 83 in the first round at the U.S. Open on Thursday but bounced back and shot a respectable 4-over-par 74 on Friday.
“I learned that I can play with these guys, and I also learned how to handle my nerves better in front of more people and on a bigger stage,” Manuel said. “Hopefully, this week, it will feel a little bit easier out there.”
Anderson said he feels good about the current state of his game.
“I’ve been trending in a good direction for a little while. I’m feeling very comfortable. I like where everything is headed. No complaints on that front,” Anderson said.
He added that making the cut in a tournament like this requires a number of key components.
“Ball striking and the short game are where it’s at,” Anderson said. “You need to drive the ball fairly straight and you have to place your iron shots accurately and precisely.”
Anderson likes the idea of playing against some of the top pros in the world to see where he stacks up against them.
“At the same time, it’s just another golf tournament. I’m going to go out and compete against myself more than anything else, and where I end up on the leaderboard is where I end up,” he said.
The tee times haven’t been announced, but the former high school rivals and friends are happy to be playing in the same tournament.
“We played in a tournament in Miami over the winter break,” Anderson said. “Before that, it hadn’t been since high school. It will be good to reconnect with him. It will be fun.”
“It will be cool to play against him again, for sure,” said Manuel, who played for Mt. Ararat High School of Topsham while Anderson played for Camden Hills High School in Rockport.
Anderson won the state Class A individual championship in 2015 and ’16 and shared the title with Scarborough’s Anthony Burnham in 2017 before finishing second to Manuel in 2018.
Manuel won it again in 2019.