Camden amateur Cole Anderson not only received a healthy dose of confidence after he tied for third at the Live and Work in Maine Open on the Korn Ferry Tour this past weekend at the Falmouth Country Club, he also earned a slot in this coming weekend’s Korn Ferry Tour event in Berthoud, Colorado.
Anderson flew out to Denver, 49 miles north of Berthoud, on Monday afternoon and planned to play a practice round at the TPC Colorado course on Tuesday. The tournament will run from Thursday through Sunday.
The top-25 finishers in a Korn Ferry Tournament earn an invitation to the next tournament. The Korn Ferry Tour is one notch below the PGA Tour and 50 golfers from the Korn Ferry Tour will earn their PGA Tour cards for next season based on their performance this season.
“Just going to keep rolling and see how long I can go,” said Anderson, who had 21 birdies, five bogeys and one double bogey over his 72 holes this past weekend en route to a 14-under-par 270.
The 21-year-old Anderson, who plays his collegiate golf at Florida State University, shared the lead after 54 holes with eventual winner Pierceson Coody and was bidding to become just the fourth amateur in the history of the tour to win.
Coody is the grandson of 1971 Masters champion Charles Coody.
Anderson shot a one-over-par 72 on Sunday to wind up in a four-way tie for third, six shots behind former University of Texas All-American Coody, who was playing in just his third Korn Ferry tournament after leading the Longhorns to the NCAA Division I golf championship.
Anderson, a former three-time state Class A individual champion when he played for Camden Hills High School in Rockport, had received a sponsor’s exemption to play in the tournament.
“I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to play in it, and I’m glad I was able to play well. This gives me a lot of belief I can win one of these in the future,” Anderson said. “I learned my game isn’t as far away from competing at that level as I may have thought.
He called it a “great week” and said having thousands of fans from the state cheering him on created a “crazy” atmosphere.
“It felt like a home game, for sure,” he said. “There were some pretty awesome roars.
“It was an unbelievable experience. I will never forget it, for sure,” he said.
In assessing his game, he said “my iron play was really good and I putted pretty well. I made a lot of momentum-saving putts, and I cashed in on some longer birdie opportunities as well.”.
Anderson bogeyed 15, and then picked up his only double bogey on the par-three 16th hole.
He said the pin was in the back right part of the green on the 16th hole, and he felt he had to gamble to try to cut into Coody’s lead. Anderson felt “pretty safe” because he had already secured a top 25-finish to earn a spot in next weekend’s tournament.
“I figured I had to finish with a birdie, eagle and birdie to have a chance to squeak into a playoff,” he said. “I had nothing to lose. I pushed [my tee shot], and it hit off a bank and went out of bounds, so I had to go back to the tee box and hit what was my third shot.
Golfers are penalized one stroke if they hit the ball out of bounds.
Anderson said playing in the final group with Coody on Sunday was a “ton of fun.”
“I had played with him before during some college events so I was pretty familiar with him. We chatted throughout the day,” Anderson said. “He’s a good guy and a great player. I wouldn’t be surprised if he is on the PGA Tour soon.”
Anderson, who tied for 40th among 169 golfers at the NCAA Division I championships at the Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona, nearly a month ago, said his game has been trending in the right direction for a while and there was some culmination this past weekend.
“I want to ride the wave for however long I can,” he said.