CUMBERLAND — As Tom Higgins walked to turn in his scorecard, Jacob Laplume asked him how he played the first round of the Maine Junior Amateur Championship at Val Halla Golf Course.

“Not good enough,” Higgins, from South Portland, said. “Still got tomorrow, though, right?”

Fist bump.

Higgins did play good enough Tuesday to sit in second place, shooting a 3-over-par 75, and earn a spot in the top boys’ 16-18 group heading into Wednesday’s second and final round.

Leader Lucas Roop (2-over 74), of Gorham, and China’s Connor Paine will join Higgins in the final group.

Despite his dissatisfaction was on par with the theme of the day. In fact, he was more pleased than most.


The girls’ 16-18 division featured a trio of leaders unimpressed with their first rounds, including leader Elizabeth Lacognata of Scarborough, who finished at 5-over-par 77.

“It was definitely not my best 77. As I heard Bailey say, it was a grind, for sure, today,” Lacognata said.

Bailey Plourde, the 2016 champion and 2017 women’s amateur runner-up, is second, a stroke behind at 6-over. Cumberland’s Erin Holmes is third at 7-over.

“It’s not great,” Plourde said of her round of 78. “I missed a few putts that definitely I should have made, but then I had some that were lucky to make. It was kind of a roller coaster today.”

“There was a lot of shots left out there,” Plourde later added.

Plourde said that the heat was a factor for her. She also is breaking in a new set of irons, having switched from Callaways to Titleist AP1s.


She birdied the 14th and 15th holes to end a birdie drought that dated back to the second day of the women’s amateur, last Tuesday.

Holmes was discouraged that she didn’t fare better on her home course. However, her dissatisfaction was eased by seeing the other players’ scores, and that she is right near the top of the leaderboard.

“It’s definitely reassuring,” Holmes said. “You’re not the only one who had a tough day out there.”

Holmes and several other golfers said they struggled with Val Halla’s fast greens, particularly those who played in the women’s amateur on Martindale’s much slower greens.

Lewiston’s Stephanie Rodrigue did master the 18th green. After reaching in three strokes, she talked to other golfers about needing a two-putt for a back-nine score of 44. Par was the plan. Instead, she sunk her long putt for a birdie. Her total score for the day was 12-over 84, which puts her in fourth place.

“That was my first birdie putt of the day,” Rodrigue said. “I didn’t know it was going to go in. I saw the green, it was kind of up-and-down up-and-down, and I had the right speed and it went in.”


Rodrigue actually putted nicely, not having a three-putt the entire round. She struggled with her driver, though, to the point she considered ceasing to use it.

Gray’s Janelle Bryant is sixth at 14-over. She said her long game was off the entire round.

“Not one of my best days,” Bryant said. “I’ve kind of been struggling the past few weeks, anyway, so not really a surprise, but I was definitely hoping for better because I’ve been working on it a lot.”

Former champ in the hunt

Higgins also was in the final group at last year’s boys’ 16-18 junior championship, but struggled with nerves and finished fourth.

Also in that final group him last year was the 2015 junior champion Austin Legge of Cape Elizabeth. Legge, who played in the same group as Laplume, is tied for fourth place with Riley Lonsdale of Falmouth.


Legge opened the round with a double-bogey, and had another on No. 9, but made up some strokes with an eagle shot from 120 yards out on the back nine.

“I dunked it on the 13th hole. I had 120, just one-hopped right in,” Legge said.

Roop also had an eagle, on No. 5.

Among tri-county players in the boys’ 16-18 flight, Lewiston’s Alex Robert had the best round, shooting a 14-over 86. He’s tied for 21st.

Monmouth’s Trevor Flanagan tied for 29th after shooting a 90.

“My short game was not on; multiple chips, multiple putts,” Flanagan said.


Lisbon’s Adam White shot a 93 and sits 31st. Auburn’s Iain Frumiento is tied for 33rd at 97, and Lewiston’s Aaron Perkins is tied for 36th at 99.

Younger divisions

Hartford’s Ruby Haylock leads Lindsay Cote in the girls’ 13-15 flight. Haylock, who only turned 13 on Monday, shot a 21-over 93, while Cote finished at 104.

“I know I could have done better. I’m not very happy,” Haylock said. “Putting was hard.”

Yarmouth’s Sebastien Martinez leads the 12-and-under group with a 3-over 40 nine-hole score. Haylock’s 10-year-old sister Jade is sixth at 57.

Scarborough’s Teddy Forsley (8-over 80) holds a two-stroke lead over Henry Ryder and Nick McGonagle in the boys’ 13-15 division. Auburn’s Harrison Gray is 17th after shooting a 122.

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