FALMOUTH — The small water hole that interrupts the Falmouth Country Club par-4 10th fairway about 150 yards from the green looked like Lake Michigan to 12-year-old Janelle Bryant as she approached her third shot in Saturday's Hannaford Community Challenge.
Then two-time LPGA winner Elaine Crosby put her arm around Bryant's shoulder, and the water hole shrank to the size of a puddle.
After some words of wisdom from Crosby, Bryant swung freely and cleared the pond with 50 yards to spare.
"She said aim for the good spot where you know you can make it. But just have fun with it. It's OK if it goes in" said Bryant, of Gray.
"Whenever they give me advice, it always works out right," said Bryant, whose threesome also included 1991 du Maurier champion Martha Nause.
Bryant was one of 20 fledgling young golfers from the First Tee of Maine who joined 40 LPGA Legends Tour participants for the first round of the 36-hole Hannaford Community Challenge.
Cindy Figg-Currier, Lori West and Rosie Jones tied for the lead with a 2-under 70. Marilyn Lovander, Sherri Turner and Val Skinner are one stroke back. Those were the only competitors to finish at or below par.
Other notable scores include Jan Stephenson (+3), Hollis Stacy (+3), Patty Sheehan (+4), Pat Bradley (+6), Donna Caponi (+10), and Nancy Lopez (+11).
The second round tees off at 8 a.m. on Sunday with a $30,000 prize awaiting the winner.
Most of the competitors had been practicing on the course since Wednesday or Thursday, measuring its long fairways and surveying its undulating greens. The scores lived up to their somewhat pessimistic pre-tournament forecasts, but scoring opportunities were plentiful for some.
"I had lot of chances," said Figg-Currier, who just missed one of those birdie opportunities at 18. "I hit some good putts, but I feel like I left a few out there."
Turner, winner of the 1988 LPGA Championship, left the front nine tied for the lead at -2 and had a golden opportunity to take sole possession of first place when she reached the green in two at 10. A seven-foot putt away from birdie and sole possession of the lead, she ended up starting the back nine with a bogey and was never able to get that stroke back.
"That was the biggest disappointment of the day because I was so excited about the second shot that I hit in there," Turner said. "My first putt was downhill and I just hit it too hard and I ended up with a bogey."
Figg-Currier, who also bogeyed at 10 and birdied the par-4 first hole and two par-5's (8 and 17), believes Sunday could have some surprises in store.
"(The course) is a good challenge," said Figg-Currier, a three-time Legends winner. "It seems like we use every club in our bag, but I think someone could get going."
Sunday's final round will feature the Legends exclusively, but the First Tee girls and boys, such as Auburn's Justin Keaney, who played with Turner and Patti Rizzo, got an up-close view of world class, competitive golf on Saturday.
"It was something new. I enjoyed it and learned a lot from it," said Keaney, who played his first year of competitive golf as a 7th-grader at St. Dom's Junior High School last fall. "I may not have played the best golf, but it was fun."
The fun never came at the expense of the pros' scorecards, either, even though this is the only Legends tour event that puts children on the course with them during tournament play.
"They did a great job making it possible for us to play our game and for them to have fun, too," Turner said.
"It's so exciting to be able to be out here with them," Bryant said. "I never thought that I'd be out here with the pros, because some day, I want to be a pro, too."