FALMOUTH — The story that couldn’t be topped found its match Sunday in a golfer who couldn’t be beaten.

Maine amateur Cole Anderson fell short in his bid to overcome a field of professionals and win the Korn Ferry Tour’s Live and Work in Maine Open, and it was Pierceson Coody who instead took home the top prize at Falmouth Country Club. Coody used a blistering front nine to post a 5-under 66 and finish at 20 under while pocketing $135,000.

Anderson shot 1-over 72 to finish in a four-way tie for third at 14 under, one shot behind runner-up Jacob Bergeron. Nelson Ledesma, Will Gordon and Fabian Gomez tied with Anderson, a Camden native.

Anderson was the center of attention for most of the 10,311 fans who turned out to Falmouth Country Club over the four days, including 3,854 on Sunday. He was the local hero trying to become the first amateur to win a Korn Ferry Tour event since 2011, and hundreds of fans followed him as the Florida State junior who used to play for championships at Samoset Resort and Camden Hills Regional High School tried to pull off his most impressive victory yet.

He came close, taking a share of the lead into Sunday. But the game that had been on fire for three rounds cooled. The 15- and 20-foot putts that fell for three days stayed out. And Anderson found himself matched up with an opponent, Coody, who made it clear from his first tee shot in the final round that he wasn’t going to lose.

“Twelve months ago, had this happened, I’d probably be pretty disappointed,” Anderson said. “But the reality of it is I made four bad swings. I had an absolute blast. The crowd was unreal. That was special, just to be a part of that.”


Anderson, who hadn’t even been in Maine for nearly a year before the start of the tournament, received an ovation as he walked to the 18th green, another after he made his par putt, and a third as he and Coody walked off the green after the former Texas Longhorn tapped in for par to finish his victory.

Anderson, who never once over 72 holes cracked or showed signs of wilting under the magnitude of the moment, got emotional. The voice wavered, and the eyes got misty.

“It’s special,” he said. “It meant a lot. We don’t have a whole lot of athletes that have done a whole lot, so to be able to feel like I made a little bit of a stamp on Maine sports history today, even though I didn’t win, it was special.”

Winning wasn’t going to happen. Not with the way Coody began the day. The 22-year-old, himself an amateur only a month ago, shredded Falmouth’s front nine. He needed only 10 putts to finish the first eight holes, making five birdies and an eagle en route to a front-nine 28.

Coody, who was playing in his third Korn Ferry tournament, tied a tournament record with a 9-under 62 on Friday. He said he was even hotter Sunday.

“It was way more in the zone than the 62,” said Coody, whose grandfather, Charles, won the 1971 Masters. “You’re not thinking. The hole looks like a bucket. You’re just (thinking) good pace on your putt and watch it go in. Stuff like that’s wild. It feels fake. You just watch the hole kind of grow.”


Anderson could only shake his head.

“He’s one of the best ball strikers I’ve ever seen,” he said. “He will be (on the PGA Tour). He’s very, very good at golf.”

Coody went on his charge in front of a crowd that, while not hostile, was decidedly pro-Anderson.

“It was really cool. It almost kind of gets you more focused on what you’re doing,” Coody said. “There are distractions around, so you take the extra second just to think about what you want to do with the golf ball. It was really cool to see that many people out here, really cool that Cole was playing as well as he was.”

Anderson was 1-over through eight, but he wasn’t finished providing highlights. After crunching a 361-yard drive on the ninth, he tucked his lob wedge from 69 yards within a foot and made the putt for birdie. He found the green on the 10th and rolled in a second straight birdie putt from 10 feet. A bogey on 15 and a double bogey on 16 brought him over par for the day, but he birdied the 17th.

On the 18th, Anderson drove into a bunker right of the fairway. With his ball near the lip and water in front of the green, Anderson muscled an 8 iron 165 yards out of the sand and onto the green.


“I was like ‘You’re not going to lose any money by messing this up,'” Anderson said. “You might as well give it a shot.”

Had Anderson been a professional – players have to turn pro before the tournament to collect money – he would have made $26,625.

“Yeah, no, that’s a bummer,” Anderson said, laughing. “Would have gone a long ways.”

Anderson, who earned a spot and will likely play in next week’s Korn Ferry Tour event in Berthoud, Colorado, doesn’t plan to turn pro anytime soon.

“For the time being, I’m an amateur. That’s not changing,” he said. “We’ve got some unfinished business at Florida State to take care of. … My game might suggest that I’m ready, but I’ll know when the right time is.”

That day, though, is coming. Pro golf for Anderson is a “when,” not an “if.” If that was in doubt before the weekend, it isn’t anymore.

“I have a lot of really great people in my camp that have believed (in me), back when I was 13 and I said I wanted to play professional golf and I was a 10 handicap,” he said. “I think I not only proved to myself, but proved to some people that maybe thought ‘Oh, he’s just from Maine, he’s just dominating in Maine, it doesn’t mean anything,’ that this is a real ambition, and something that is attainable and real.”

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