OAKLAND, ME — The 2022 Mid-Amateur Championship got underway yesterday at Waterville CC, with 132 players from across the state vying for the title. This event features male golfers aged 25 and older competing in a 36-hole stroke play event on May 31 and June 1.

After the first day, Jeff Cole (Brunswick GC) is the leader after firing a blistering 65 (-5) to open the tournament. Playing in the third group of the day, Cole made three birdies against no bogeys on his opening nine, turning at -3. Despite a double bogey on the difficult par-4 11th hole, Cole rebounded with four more birdies on the way to the clubhouse to post the low score of the day. The Portland resident is looking for his first win in this championship.

Sitting two strokes behind the leader is Brian Bilodeau (Martindale CC), who opened with a 67 of his own. Early in the round as a light rain was falling, Bilodeau holed out from 213 yards on the par-5 3rd hole for an albatross that jumpstarted his round. He played even par the rest of the way to play his way into contention on Wednesday. Bilodeau has had past success at Waterville, having won the Maine Event there in 2020. Joining Cole and Bilodeau in the final pairing will be Ronald Kelton (Purpoodock Club), who opened with a 68.

Will Kannegieser (Portland CC) was the only other player to break par on day 1, shooting 69 to remain in the hunt. Kannegieser is a former Maine Junior and Match Play champion, and at 25-years old is making his debut in the Mid-Amateur. A trio of players, including two former champions of this event, sit five back of the lead with rounds of 70.

In addition to the overall championship, there are three exemptions available at this event for the 2022 Maine Amateur Championship. The top three finishers from this tournament who aren’t otherwise already exempt will earn a spot in the Amateur field at Webhannet GC next month.

Play will commence for Wednesday’s final round at 7:30 a.m., with the leaders set to tee off at 2:00 p.m.

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