MANCHESTER — Leslie Guenther is one solid round away from winning her first Maine Women’s Amateur title.

Guenther, who plays out of the Norway Country Club, shot her second straight 79 Tuesday to take a one-shot lead over Springbrook’s Pennie Cummings at the Augusta Country Club.

Micki Meggison of Sable Oaks and defending champion Emily Bouchard of Biddeford-Saco Country Club are four shots back at 162.

Guenther, who has finished second three times in this tournament, played a steady if unspectacular round Tuesday, making 11 pars and seven bogeys.

“Two days in a row with no birdies and that’s not good,” Guenther said. “Some of the pin positions, you can’t be above the hole. Sometimes I just didn’t see. I’m very familiar with the golf course. Usually the greens aren’t quite as quick when we play our recreational rounds.”

After an opening-round 74, Cummings struggled to an 85 Tuesday during a round that included three double bogeys and one birdie.

“I got on the wrong side of the hole and had a lot of three-putts today,” Cummings said. “You cannot three-putt and score here.”

Cummings, 68, has won the amateur championship six times, the last in 2006.

“It was a rough day, I’m disappointed, but that’s golf,” she said. “It’s one of those days.”

Bouchard trailed by 11 strokes after the first day, but climbed back into contention by shooting 77, the low round of the day. The 22-year-old from Saco birdied the first, fourth and 13th holes, making a 30-foot putt on 13.

“I just had it today,” Bouchard said. “I wish I could say exactly what it was, but I don’t really know.”

Bouchard’s only big mistake was a double bogey on the ninth hole, Her approach shot from the rough came after the golfers were called off the course for 50 minutes due to a thunderstorm.

“I had a flyer lie, but I missed the ball a little, too,” Bouchard said. “I couldn’t expect too much out of it. I should have taken a few more warm-up swings after that thunder delay.”

Meggison shot 80 after an 82.

“It was a struggle and I’m glad it’s over,” she said. “I don’t know what it was but the first two holes I was feeling quite sick.”

Liz Wiltshire of Natanis shot 79 and was the only golfer besides Bouchard and Guenther to break 80.

NOTES: Alice Hwang, a 16-year-old who will be a junior at Bangor High School, is one of six juniors in the tournament and has the low score of 171. She shot 81 Tuesday … Thirty-two clubs are represented in the tournament led by Hermon Meadows with eight golfers and Rockland and Natanis with seven each. Webhannet of Kennebunk is the southernmost club while Houlton is the northernmost … Meggison, Guenther and Cummings play in the final group, which tees off at 10:20 a.m. today. Bouchard, two-time champion Kristin Kannegieser of Martindale and Mary Brandes of The Woodlands are in the next-to-last group … Guenther won the Southern Maine Women’s Golf Association championship last year. This year the SMWGA and the Women’s Maine State Golf Association are combining for one championship for the first time since the SMWGA split away in 1977.

 


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