AUBURN — No two golf tournament victories are the same.

The result of this year’s Maine Women’s Amateur Championship was the same as last year, with Staci Creech beating out Bailey Plourde, but how it happened was different.

There was no meltdown for Plourde. There were no birdies either.

Creech happily putted for pars, Plourde begrudgingly did the same.

Creech avoided three-putts en route to her third straight win in three tries, shooting a final-round 3-over 74 to finish with a 4-over 217 in the three-day tournament at Martindale Country Club.

“I didn’t feel like I had my best game all three days, but my short game held me in there,” Creech, of Veazie and Bangor Municipal Golf Course, said. “It’s funny, the last two years I hit it really well and did not putt very well, and this year I hit it kind of crappy and putted really well. I was pleased with my putting.”

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A 30-plus-foot birdie putt — Creech’s only birdie of the day and just her fifth of the tournament — on the par-4 14th all but sealed the victory. That gave her the five-shot advantage she held on to beat Plourde (9-over 222) by five.

That came after consecutive bogeys on the 12th and 13th for Creech. Yet Plourde also bogeyed the holes as part of her 5-over 76 for the day.

Plourde missed a short par putt on the 13th, having already seen Creech bogey the hole. The missed opportunity made Plourde put her head in her hands.

“Felt like I was reading them right,” Plourde said. “Couldn’t find the speed today. I felt like there was a couple putts I really should have made and overthought it. But no, didn’t feel like I was going to make anything.”

Plourde had makeable birdie chances on each hole from the 7th to the 11th holes, but nothing would fall.

“Felt like I kept myself in it for the most part. Tried to forget about the past, what I’ve done,” said Plourde, who shot 8-over on the back nine at Penobscot Valley in last year’s tournament and lost to Creech by 11 strokes. “The past is like the last hole, or the front, or whatever. I kept looking back, I’m like ‘aw, should have made that putt.’ But I couldn’t do that. I had to look forward. It was done, can’t change it. I had to keep putting myself in good positions to make birdie. Unfortunately putts didn’t fall.”

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Creech called the greens “tricky” for the tournament. Her putting, and her experience, helped her solve those tricks.

“I’ve played in so many competitive things. Playing at the national level in a lot of things helps,” Creech said. “I’m a lot older than these girls. In one way that could be bad, but in one way it could be good. I’ve probably had a lot more ups and downs than they have, and had to come back from things or deal with things on the course.”

Creech said she doesn’t let herself get too high or too low on the course. Like par itself, she stays even on the course. She showed no frustration after hitting a tee shot behind a tree on the 13th, nor any excitement after the long birdie putt on the 14th.

“I just know golf is a game of ups and downs, and you kind of just have to ride the wave,” Creech said.

“She stays solid throughout the round, no matter if she has a bad hole or not,” Plourde said. “She keeps focused. She doesn’t pay attention to what I’m doing, or whoever we’re playing. And she’s a great competitor. You got to be on your game in order to beat her, and I didn’t have my game on.

“I knew coming in today I had to stay focused, and I lost focus a few holes, unfortunately.”

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Plourde took solace in being the junior champion at the tournament for the fourth year in a row.

“Juniors are really good this year, again. They keep getting better and better,” Plourde, who plays out of the Samoset Resort, said.

Besides Creech, it was a tournament for the junior players. They took the next four spots after Creech, with the third member of the final group, Jordan Laplume of Dunegrass, finishing behind Plourde for third.

“It was a good day today,” Laplume, who shot a final-round 76 to finish at 17-over 230 said, said. “I was just trying to hit everything right down the middle, and then hit the green and just be safe. I didn’t try to ram in any birdies, just get the par.”

Elizabeth Lacognata, who played in the group with Creech and Plourde in the second round, finished fourth with a 232. She shot a final-round 77 to make up for Tuesday’s 81. Erin Holmes also had a better third round than second, rebounding with a 76 after an 83 to finish fifth with a 237.

Kristin Kannegieser was the highest-finishing Martindale member in sixth, after shooting a three-day 240. Former champion Leslie Guenther of Norway Country Club was seventh with a 244.

Next year’s tournament will be held at Rockland Golf Course.

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Staci Creech, right, is congratulated after winning the Maine Women’s Amateur Golf Championship at Martindale Country Club in Auburn on Wednesday. Second place finisher Bailey Plourde, second from left, and third place finisher Jordan Laplume hug in the background. 

Staci Creech gets a kiss from her husband and caddy, Karlton Creech, after winning the Maine Women’s Amateur Golf Championship at Martindale Country Club in Auburn on Wednesday. Third place finisher Jordan Laplume is at left. 

Bailey Plourde reacts after a missed putt on the 13th hole during the Maine Women’s Amateur Golf Championship at Martindale Country Club in Auburn on Wednesday.

Jordan Laplume tees off on the 17th hole during the Maine Women’s Amateur Golf Championship at Martindale Country Club in Auburn on Wednesday.

Bailey Plourde, left, reacts after she missed a putt on the 18th hole during the Maine Women’s Amateur Golf Championship at Martindale Country Club in Auburn on Wednesday. Bailey Plourde is at right and tournament winner, Staci Creech, is at center. 

Staci Creech reacts after her putt on the 15th hole during the Maine Women’s Amateur Golf Championship at Martindale Country Club in Auburn on Wednesday.

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