BRUNSWICK — Emily Bouchard knows how well she can play. And while she takes a two-stroke lead into the final round of the Maine Women’s Amateur golf tournament, she feels she still hasn’t played her best.
The 23-year-old Bouchard, who plays out of the Biddeford-Saco Country Club, shot a 77 on Tuesday at the Brunswick Golf Club, giving her a two-day total of 157. But it was obvious afterward that missed opportunities gnawed at her, especially the double bogey on her final hole.
“Mistakes on 18 cost me today,” she said. “I’m not really dissatisfied, obviously. I’m not here to try to blow everyone out of the water. I’m frustrated because I know where I can be on this course and I haven’t got there yet.”
Bouchard, the defending Maine Am champ, will be joined in the final group Wednesday by Lori Frost of Bangor and 17-year-old Monica Austin of Yarmouth.
Frost also shot a 77 on Tuesday, rebounding from an 82 in the first round for a two-round total of 159, and Austin, a member of the junior program Bouchard oversees, had back-to-back rounds of 81. They will tee off at 12:10 p.m.
“That will be a nice combination,” said Kris Kannegieser, the first-round leader who shot an 85 on Tuesday for a 164 total. “It did not surprise me that Lori went low today. She’s a great golfer.”
Bouchard knows this — “Lori has a name in the state of Maine when it comes to golf,” she said — and plans on continuing to play aggressively.
“I believe if you play aggressively, you’re going to be rewarded eventually,” said Bouchard. “If you sit back, that’s when someone charges forward and takes if from you. I’m not here to lose a golf tournament, I’m here to win it.
“And I’m not going to do that by hoping these women play below their potential. I know them and they’re all capable of shooting low numbers, like I am.”
Austin, who will be a senior at Yarmouth High in the fall, had hoped coming into the tournament that she would get the chance to play with Bouchard. She has that opportunity because of her steady play.
Although Austin triple-bogeyed the first hole Tuesday, she responded by playing par the next eight holes. “That was the goal,” she said.
Austin said she had a couple of tee shots that got her in trouble and that she missed a couple of putts.
But, she continued, “It’s a matter of keeping my head and believing in myself.”
Bouchard came into the second round trailing Kannegieser by a stroke. She took the lead with a birdie on 14 (which was the fifth hole her group played because they began the day on the back nine) and steadily pulled away. Her ability to make pars on the long par 5s was pivotal.
“The difference is that she can reach all those par 5s in two shots,” said Kannegieser. “Other than that last hole, this is what I expected her to shoot. It was fun playing with her and watching her.”
Bouchard had three birdies on the afternoon, and a number of other putts that came tantalizingly close but didn’t drop.
“I’ve been all around the holes,” she said. “There’s a couple of millimeters here and there that could have put me a few shots better, maybe.”
Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or at [email protected]