PALM HARBOR, Fla. — The 22nd annual Canadian Junior Golf Association World Junior Challenge took place Sunday, Dec. 28 through Tuesday, Dec. 30 at the Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club in Palm Harbor, Fla., and Camden native Cole Anderson finished second overall in the 14-and-under age division.
After posting a 12-over par 226 after 54 holes, the 14-year-old Camden-Rockport Middle School eighth-grade student fell just shy of first place by seven shots, but did finish as the top American in his age division.
Although he is more familiar with golf courses in Maine, he said it was not too difficult to adapt to the difference in temperature since “the temperature [in Maine] during the summer is similar to the winter temperatures [in Florida].”
But, he did point out that it rained several times and “made the course conditions tougher”; however, he channeled his patience and ultimately modeled himself after his current favorite professional golfer, Jordan Spieth, by staying “confident, cool, calm and collected,” which is how he described Spieth — who is said to possibly be better than Tiger Woods.
Anderson said that he learned to “keep my head in it” and not to get overly frustrated throughout the tournament. But, he did admit that he was pretty “consistent” throughout the tournament and selected that word when he was told in the post-match interview that he could only use one word to describe his performance.
On the tournament’s opening day Sunday, Anderson completed the first round by shooting a 3-over par 75, with a birdie on the 11th hole and bogeys on the fourth, 12th, 13th and 17th. In the second round the following day, he went 5-over par 76, with bogeys on the fifth, 10th and 17th and double-bogey on the second. And, on the final day, Anderson finished 4-over par 71, with bogeys on the first, second, third, seventh and eighth holes and a birdie on the par-4 18th.
Although he is a competitor who wants to always perform to his “highest,”, the multi-sport student-athlete was not always swinging a golf club. It was not until he was 10 years old that he went golfing for the first time with a friend and his friend’s father on the Fourth of July that he started enjoying the game of golf.
In fact, he enjoyed it so much, he knew he wanted to compete in golf, so he joined the Camden-Rockport Middle School golf team that fall.
It is fair to say that Cole Anderson is a name that local golf fanatics will be hearing many times over the next few years.
Reach George Harvey and the sports department at: firstname.lastname@example.org.