Caleb Manuel hits on the fourth hole during the first round of the U.S. Open golf tournament at The Country Club, Thursday, June 16, 2022, in Brookline, Mass. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty / AP

Topsham’s Caleb Manuel didn’t make it easy on himself.

But after shooting a four-over-par 39 on the front nine, which left him one shot behind Mike Arsenault, Manuel rallied for a three-under-par 33 on the back nine to defend his title at the 103rd annual Maine Amateur Golf Championship at the Webhannet Golf Club in Kennebunk.

The 20-year-old Manuel, who recently announced he is transferring to the University of Georgia after spending two seasons at the University of Connecticut, won by four shots over Mike Arsenault out of the Val Halla Golf Course in Cumberland Center.

Manuel finished with a one-over-par 72 for a three-day total of six-under-par 207.

Arsenault led the first round after shooting a 68, and was the only player to eclipse 70 on the first day. He followed that with a 69 on Wednesday.

Manuel shot a blistering eight-under-par 63 on Wednesday to take the lead after posting a 72 on Tuesday.

Manuel, who plays out of the Brunswick Golf Club, held a two-shot lead over Arsenault heading into the final round.

After Manuel’s shaky start, Arsenault actually led by one after nine holes.

But Manuel birdied five of the last seven holes with a bogey and a par to go with it, while Arsenault could only muster seven pars and two bogeys over the final nine.

Arsenault shot a final-round 74.

Ronald Kelton and John Hayes IV, both from the Purpoodock Club in Cape Elizabeth, finished five shots back at one-under 212.

Will Kannegieser and Jace Pearson from the Martindale Country Club in Auburn shared fifth place at 214, and rounding out the top 10 were four golfers at 217.

Kannegieser finished second to Manuel by a shot last year.

Jason Gall of the Portland Country Club, Armand Ouellette from the Biddeford-Saco Country Club, Mitchell Tarrio from the Augusta Country Club and Daulton Wickenden from the Goose River Golf Club in Rockport all wound up at plus-four.

Manuel began Thursday’s final round with a bogey on the first hole and he also bogeyed the fifth, sixth and ninth holes while also registering a double bogey on the seventh hole.

He had a birdie on the fourth.

He started his back nine with a bogey on 10 before rebounding with birdies on 12, 13 and 14. He bogeyed 15 but sandwiched birdies at 16 and 18 around a par on 17.

Manuel qualified for the U.S. Open at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts, this summer but failed to make the cut. He tied for 152nd.

He also played in the Live and Work in Maine Open on the Korn Ferry Tour but missed the cut by three shots.