Wednesday, December 4, 2013
By GARY HAWKINS Kennebec Journal
MANCHESTER - For the first two days of the Maine Women's Amateur golf championship, the Augusta Country Club course was the clear winner.
How dominant was Emily Bouchard in the final round of the Maine Women’s Amateur? She started down four shots and won by eight.
Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal
WOMEN'S AMATEUR LEADERBOARD
Emily Bouchard 85-77-71--233
Best of the Rest
Leslie Guenther 79-79-83--241
Pennie Cummings 74-85-83--242
Mary Brandes 82-85-82--249
That changed Wednesday when Emily Bouchard drove and putted her way to a 1-under 71 to win her second straight championship.
Bouchard, a 22-year-old from Saco, began the day four strokes behind the second-round leader, Leslie Guenther of Norway, but regained the lead after shooting par on the front nine, highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth.
"That was huge," Bouchard said of her eagle. "That was a hole where all week I gave shots away, not necessarily bogeys but settling for par. That's a hole where I should have no problem."
Bouchard's drive left her 17 yards out on the hole and from there she stuck a 6-iron to within six feet of the hole and converted the putt.
"I gained two (strokes) right off the bat," she said.
Guenther finished a distant second, eight shots back at 241 after shooting an 83. Pennie Cummings, the first-round leader, also shot an 83 to place third at 242.
Along with her eagle, Bouchard birdied the first hole on the front to go with three bogeys and finish at par.
She birdied the par-4 12th after spinning her approach shot back 20 feet to within three feet of the cup. Bouchard scored her only double bogey on the 14th after her approach shot to the green found the right-side bunker.
"I had a good lie but the slope was directly away from me," she said. "With how fast these greens are, there was no way I could keep it on the green. I just had to take my medicine."
Bouchard got back under par with birdies on 15 and 16. She stuck her drive on the par-3 15th to within six feet and drained the putt, then chipped to the same distance on the par-4 16th and sunk the putt. She had a chance to dip into the 60s but missed short birdie putts on both 17 and 18.
"I had three putts today that probably should have gone in," she said.
While Bouchard made her charge on the front, the leaders faltered. Both Guenther and Cummings shot 8 over on the front and double bogeyed the second and fifth holes. Guenther's second-place finish was her fourth overall in the championship.
"Starting like that is terrible," Guenther said. "On the fifth hole I was on the green pin high and I left with a 7. Even when I started to hit the ball a little bit better, it took me longer to actually score.
"I couldn't have kept up with (Bouchard) anyway. She plays a game that none of us play."
Bouchard, who is the director of the First Tee program at Val Halla, estimated she's played only 15 rounds of golf this year.
"I find if I play too much I fall out of love with it," she said.
Bouchard was the only female member of the state championship golf team at Thornton Academy in 2007. A well-rounded athlete, she also played hockey and basketball. She's two classes away from getting a degree in air traffic control at Daniel Webster College.
She and her father, John, who caddied for her this week, plan to defend their Maine mixed championship Sept. 9 at the Boothbay Country Club. They've won the title the past two years.
"He got me into the game," Bouchard said. "I've never had a lesson. Everything I know is from him."