FALMOUTH — The chase is on at the 100th Maine Amateur Championship and 18-year-old Cole Anderson is quite comfortable in the lead.

Anderson, playing in the first group Tuesday, shot a 5-under 65 on Portland Country Club’s par-70 layout, putting the 132-player field on immediate notice that he was intent on improving last year’s runner-up finish at the Maine State Golf Association’s signature event.

“I got just about everything I could out of the round,” said Anderson, who spent the spring semester enrolled at Florida State University after graduating early from Camden Hills High.

Anderson, from Camden and playing out of Samoset Resort, is a three-time Maine Principals’ Association Class A champion and won last summer’s MSGA Match Play event. He will begin his competitive college career this fall on a scholarship. This is his fourth Maine Amateur, placing second in 2018 and third in 2017. Both of those tournaments were won by Jack Wyman who has since turned pro.

A birdie putt on the fourth hole “got things going,” Anderson said, and he followed with five more birdies. His lone bogey on 15 was quickly answered by birdies on the par-5 16th (he reached it in two shots with a driver, 9-iron combo) and the par-3 17th.

“The one on 17 was really good,” Anderson said “The 16th is a hole where before the tournament started I felt like I should birdie that all three rounds. The 17th, my game plan was just to par it all three days.”

Joe Alvarez, 39, of Biddeford (Webhannet Golf Club), and Garrett Olson, 34, of West Bath (Brunswick Golf Club) both shot 68s to tie for second, joining Anderson as the only players under par.

Alvarez has finished in the top 10 nine times since the three-round stroke-play format returned in 2006, including the past three years.

“I’ll just try to drive the ball well (Wednesday) and hit a lot of greens,” Alvarez said. “If I get some reads right on the greens I hopefully can put myself a little closer than I am now.”

Olson, originally from Norway (Oxford Hills), played minor league baseball from 2006-09 after being drafted out of Franklin Pierce University in the fourth round by the Minnesota Twins. A back injury forced him to retire from baseball. Olson’s last Maine Amateur appearance came in 2011 at Portland Country Club, when he was still bothered by back issues.

“I really have just gotten back into golf the last few years,” said Olson, who was 3-under before only bogey on the 18th hole.

Olson acknowledged his golf game is not at the same level as the top young players like Anderson.

“But I’ve been in a lot of pressure situations and it seems I play my best when it’s a competitive situation,” Olson said.

Tied for fourth at even-par 70 are Caleb Manuel, 17, of Topsham (Brunswick Golf Club) and Scott Sirois, 41, of Falmouth (The Woodlands Club). Manuel and Sirois posted the best rounds in the afternoon.

“Definitely the afternoon was a little bit harder. It got windier and a little bit firmer as the day went on. It was a little harder to stop shots around the green,” said Manuel, an incoming senior at Mt. Ararat High who has committed to play college golf at Connecticut.

On Wednesday, the playing order will reverse.

“I’ll be ready to wake up early and make some birdies,” Manuel said.

Reese McFarlane, 21, of Cape Elizabeth (Purpoodock Club), Joe Walp, 25, of Portland (Falmouth CC), and Lucas Roop, 19, of Gorham (Biddeford-Saco CC) are tied for sixth after morning rounds of 1-over 71.

McFarlane won the 2018 New England Amateur at Portland CC. He was 2 under through 14 holes before a slightly long second shot on the par-5 sixth hole (his 15th) went over the green and rolled out of bounds leading to a double-bogey.

“I’m just going to stick to my game plan. Being aggressive on this course doesn’t give you much of an advantage,” McFarlane said. “I hit 16 greens. I proved to myself I can make a lot of birdies. I made three but I had a lot of good looks.”

Rounding out the top 10 with 2-over 72s were James Frost, 36, of Windham (Val Halla) and Jason Gall, 46, of Augusta (Portland CC).

Since 2006, 12 of the 13 Maine Am winners have been under the age of 30 but five players in the top 10 this year are 30-plus.

“There are a lot of nuances to these greens where if you’ve played here a lot it could be an advantage,” said Sirois.

NOTES: The low 40 scores (and ties) after Wednesday’s round advance to Thursday’s final round. The projected cut is 152 and the five former champions in the field are in danger. Three-time winner Ricky Jones is at 76. John Hayes IV, the 2015 winner, shot 77. Thirteen-time champion Mark Plummer (79), 2014 champ Andrew Slattery (81) and two-time winner Ron Brown (81) have ground to make up. … Kellen Adickes, 12, of Bristol, this year’s youngest participant, shot 86. Later this summer, he will play in the US Kids Golf World Championship in Pinehurst, North Carolina. A regular at New England junior events, Adickes said, “It’s my first Maine Amateur. The course was tougher than I’m used to. I wanted to play against players better than I am.”