BANGOR — Bailey Plourde knows she can play the game of golf, and play it at a high level. After all, the 21-year-old from Newcastle was a two-time Division III All-American at Centre College in Kentucky, where she graduated this spring.

But, consecutive double bogeys can cause anyone’s round to spiral badly out of control. In the past that might have happened to Plourde. But on Tuesday, when consecutive doubles on Nos. 7 and 8 at Bangor Municipal Golf Course trimmed Plourde’s once healthy lead in the Maine Women’s Amateur Championship down to just two shots, she knew what to do.

“I just had to take a deep breath. I sat down on the bench on the next tee box and just kind of took a breather and calmed down,” Plourde said. “I’ve been confident yesterday and most of today so I just had to take a breather and move on.”

Plourde moved on quite well, playing her final 10 holes in 2-under with eight pars and two tap-in birdies on the par-5 15th and 18th holes to finish with a 1-over-par 72, good for a five-stroke lead over Kristin Kannegieser of Minot and a seven-stroke cushion over defending champion Ruby Haylock of Hartford heading into Wednesday’s final round.

“This summer has just been about getting the mental game back to move on from a bad shot or a bad hole,” Plourde said. “I had two (bad holes). I played 2-under on the back (Monday) and I knew I could do it again.”

Tuesday’s round was interrupted for about 45 minutes because of a brief afternoon thunderstorm with five groups still on the course.

Because Wednesday’s forecast looks significantly worse when it comes to the threat of afternoon thunderstorms (hail is even in the forecast), Plourde, Kannegieser and Haylock – who played together on Tuesday – will tee off first at 7 a.m.

The 73-player field will start on both the first and 10th tees. Maine State Golf Association Executive Director Brian Bickford said Wednesday’s scores will be official if nine or more holes are completed. If the round cannot be held, or has to be canceled prior to nine holes being completed, the second round scores will be considered final.

Plourde, the 2018 winner and runner-up in 2020, has an overall score of 71-72–143, shooting the low round both days. The longest hitter in the field, Plourde birdied each of the three par 5s on Tuesday.

Kannegieser, a spearmint gum-chomping 58-year-old who plays out of both Portland Country Club and Martindale Golf Club, shot a 3-over 74 for the second straight day. Like Plourde, Kannegieser made two birdies after the rain delay, including rolling in a 40-foot putt on the par-3 16th hole.

“I approach this as I just want to play my own game. I don’t want to try to shoot scores that I don’t usually shoot. I had flashes of brilliance and hit some really good shots and then had some ‘Oh my gosh Kristin, what are you thinking?'” said Kannegieser, who won the Women’s Maine State Golf Association championship in 2007 and 2010. (The WMSGA and the Southern Maine Women’s Golf Association were rolled into the Maine State Golf Association in 2012.)

Kannegieser said Plourde’s ability to shake off a couple of bad holes shows “what length and strength can do, and Bailey has been competing all spring long and I just don’t compete at that level.”

Bangor Muni’s greens continued to roll slowly and many putts were left short of the hole. That was the case for the 16-year-old Haylock on the par-4 17th. Haylock, who’ll be a senior this fall at Leavitt High, had left a wedge from the middle of the fairway at the front of the expansive green. Her first uphill putt was eight feet short. Then she rolled her second shot up the hill well past the hole, leading to a four-putt double-bogey. Haylock, who bogeyed her first two holes, did take advantage of the short 409-yard par-5 18th with a birdie to finish at 4-over 75 for a second straight day and is alone in third place at 8-over.

“We’re going to be the first group out tomorrow and I’m hoping things will go better for me. I think I can get lucky. We’ll see. I just have to go out and play more golf,” Haylock said.

Katy Heskett of Purpoodock Club (13-over) and Leslie Guenther of Mingo Springs Golf Course (15-over) round out the top five.


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