BRUNSWICK – Emily Bouchard was a little tense. She held a two-stroke lead entering the final round of the Maine Women’s Amateur golf championship but didn’t quite feel right.

“After a couple of holes, I tried to shake it out,” she said. “I needed to remember that I was playing golf and it’s just a game.”

And right now no one plays it as well as she does.

Bouchard won her third consecutive championship Wednesday afternoon at the Brunswick Golf Club by shooting a 78 to complete a three-day total of 13-over 235, six strokes better than teenager Monica Austin of Yarmouth. This was her second consecutive Maine Am title, the other being the championship of the WMSGA.

“It feels really good,” said Bouchard, who plays out of the Biddeford-Saco Country Club. “I feel like I wanted it more this year than in the past. I don’t know what it was, but I feel like it just meant a lot.

“I can’t stress enough how much I appreciate sharing this with my family, especially my dad (John) being my caddy. That’s really special having him on the bag.”

Austin, who will be a senior at Yarmouth High in the fall, had her best round of the three-day tournament, shooting a 79 to finish with a 241. Lori Frost of Bangor Municipal, shot an 83 to finish third at 242.

“She’s a great competitor, has great balance,” said Frost, of Bouchard. “She’s got the game to recover if she makes mistakes. She’s going to have a great future.”

Starting on the back nine again, Bouchard slowly extended her two-stroke lead during the final day. By the time they hit the turn, the 23-year-old Bouchard had a six-stroke lead over Frost and Austin. That’s when Frost made a charge.

She parred the first two holes on the back nine while Bouchard bogeyed them, cutting the margin to four strokes.

Bouchard regrouped with back-to-back pars. Frost, meanwhile, double-bogeyed the par-3 fourth hole (the 13th overall that they had played), her bogey putt lipping out to her amazement. Bouchard then pushed the lead to eight strokes over Frost and Austin with three holes to play.

Then Bouchard got in trouble. She shot a triple-bogey 7 on the seventh hole (16th overall), her tee shot hitting the left shoulder of a spectator, Bob Bazinet, who just happens to be John Bouchard’s boss at Creative Printed Solutions.

“I’ve known Emily since she was in the crib,” said Bazinet. “We’re going to have some fun with this.”

Bazinet was about 30 yards down the fairway when he was struck. The ball dropped in front of him into a circle of dirt with a clump of grass in the middle. “My first instinct was, ‘That’s a bad lie for her,’ ” said Bazinet.

It was and Bouchard admitted to being shaken by hitting a spectator. She never recovered on that hole, but came through with a birdie on the final hole. “Nice way to end it,” she said. “Finally.”

For Austin, it was a nice ending as well. In her first state tournament, she hoped to simply finish in the top 10. She played consistently all three days, shooting an 81-81-79.

“I hit the ball well off the tee,” said Austin, who plays out of The Woodlands.

Austin wasn’t the only teenager to play well. Bailey Plourde, 13, of Newcastle, who will enter her freshman year at Lincoln Academy, had a three-day total of 254 to finish 14th.

“I came in hoping to stay in the 80s and finish in the top half,” she said. “I’m happy with how I played. Not so much today (an 89) but overall happy with it.”

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: MikeLowePPH


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