At his best, Tiger Woods did not win every golf tournament in which he played. It just seemed like he always came up big in PGA majors.

That is why it should come as no surprise that Emily Bouchard, who has dominated the Maine Women’s Amateur the past three years, finished seventh in this year’s tournament. Bouchard, whose family has a camp in Poland, would be the first one to tell you that golf is a sport in which total dominance does not take place. Plus, she told the media covering the event at the Waterville Country Club that she had a half dozen lipped-out putts, which never is a good sign for a golfer attempting to win a championship.

Bouchard has posted a score as low as 65 in the Women’s Amateur, which is why she was the favorite heading into the tournament. Her 80-84 —164 this year was not good enough, proving that the best players can have average days on a golf course.

The good news on the Women’s Amateur is that the new champion is Leslie Guenther, who is athletic director at Hebron Academy. She finished ninth in the 2013 Amateur, and was runner-up to Bouchard in 2012. Guenther was totally humbled and thrilled to become this year’s champion — so thrilled that she shed tears of joy.

Guenther, a longtime member of the Norway Country Club, plays there with her husband, Dave. They also play at Mingo Springs in Rangeley, where they have a summer camp.

“We enjoy having the Guenthers in our membership,” Norway pro and general manager Dave Mazzeo said. “And Leslie is a good, solid person.”

Guenther, who shot 75-82 — 157 to outlast the field by two strokes, is a great example of golf perseverance, because she freely admitted she was “relieved” to have finally won this title. She had been a four-time champion in the Southern Maine Women’s Golf Association, but this is the crown she wanted most.

Recent Oxford Hills graduate Brianna Morris, also of Norway, finished in the middle of the field by shooting 88-91 — 179. She will attend Methodist University in North Carolina, where she will try to make the women’s golf team. Methodist is well known for its many golf programs, so Morris should fit into one of them.

Junior championship

Another area golfer, Will Kannegieser of Minot, will be defending his Maine Junior championship Tuesday and Wednesday at Val Halla. Kannegieser is coming off an impressive performance last month at the New England Amateur in Massachusetts, where he shot 71-76-76-72 — 295 to tie for 30th.

Washed out

On a sad note, the Charlie’s Maine Open, run by the Maine State Golf Association, was reduced to a one-day event when heavy rain caused the Monday round to be cancelled with six groups having completed play. There was no way that the first round could be completed and the second round held on Tuesday. There simply is not enough daylight for both to be done.

So the MSGA discarded the first round score and started over fresh on Tuesday, which caused a few players to grumble. Wednesday was not an option, because of other tournaments scheduled, meaning the one round on Tuesday was the best the MSGA could do.

Anyone who thought that was done to make it so a Maine golfer could win the championship was sadly misinformed. In the long and proud history of the Maine Open, only a handful of Mainers have won this event. And if the MSGA wanted a Maine resident to win, it would not open the event to any and all players.

Noteworthy at the Maine Open is the fact that Maine Amateur champion Andrew Slattery of Minot, who plays out of Martindale, shot a 70 to tie for 32nd place. Slattery is having a fine season.

Exotics update

Members of the Exotics Tour Pro-Am Series did not fare so well with former Maine Amateur champion Ryan Gay of Augusta, shooting a 69 on his home course. That was the best of the Exotics group, along with Jeff Seavy of Samoset, which tied them for 20th. At 49th place with 71 was JJ Harris of Penobscot Valley, meaning only three Exotics players were in the top 50 of a 156-player field.

Johnny Johnston of Harris Golf, which runs the Exotics Tour, was present Monday and attempted to recruit some of the players for future Exotics events. He said they showed a lot of interest in the October Tour Championship, in which the first place prize will be $15,000. So that tournament could possess a field with quality even greater than anticipated.


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