Principal players 2 golfers develop bond on and off links

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VASSALBORO – This was one time when Kristin Kannegieser didn’t mind seeing her principal.

Kannegieser, who won the Maine Women’s Amateur title going away Wednesday, had the good fortune to play her final round with a friend and fellow golfer who also just happened to have been her elementary school principal – Pennie Cummings.

“She was my principal when I was at Fairview (in Auburn),” Kannegieser said. “When I started playing, I was at Springbrook, and I got to play with her in a couple of pro-ams, and she’s just been such a mentor.”

First, a mentor. Now, a friend.

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“We’ve played a lot together,” Cummings said. “I always enjoy playing with her.”

Even though Kannegieser now plays at Martindale, the two will meet up for member-guest tournaments every now and again, including one just last week at Springbrook.

This time around, the tournament meant a bit more, but the camaraderie was still there.

“She kept it under control. She played really well,” Cummings said. “She got into a couple of sticky situations, and she did a great job of getting out.”

“Pennie was a really calming influence on me,” Kannegieser said, “but I thought she’d make a push.”

Kannegieser had every reason to be concerned. Cummings came from behind last year to win the tournament.

Wednesday, though, it was all Kannegieser. Even when she miss hit the ball, things turned out OK.

“Pennie kept saying to me, ‘Sometimes you’ve got to be lucky to be good,'” Kannegieser said. “I probably would have been on with a seven-iron, but probably not three feet from the pin like I was.”

The rest of the way, as Kannegieser tried to hold steady, Cummings was there. They even rode in a cart together.

“I kept saying to her, ‘Just play your game, you’re doing fine, just keep it in play and do the best you can,'” Cummings said.

“It was pretty special,” Kannegieser said, as tears started to well up in her eyes. “She’s been through a lot with me, and I’m glad she was with me today.”

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