BRUNSWICK — Her final round was far from perfect, but Emily Bouchard of Saco once again proved to be the best female amateur golfer in the state, as she won her second-consecutive Maine Women’s Amateur tournament with a six-stroke victory over Monica Austin of Yarmouth at Brunswick Golf Club on Wednesday.

Bouchard ended the three-day tournament with a 4-over 78 in the final round, and finished with a total score of 13-over 235.

Despite the comfortable winning margin, the final round was no walk in the park for Bouchard, a 23-year old member of Biddeford-Saco Country Club. She stretched a two-stroke lead after the second round into a six-shot advantage at the turn, but had to battle Austin and Bangor’s Lori Frost ”“ as well as the course itself ”“ over the final nine holes.

Bouchard bogeyed both the first and second holes ”“ which were the 10th and 11th of the round, as the final pairing played the back nine first. She missed a birdie chance on the second hole, and ended up dropping a stroke to both Austin and Frost.

Bouchard missed for birdie again on the par-5 third after reaching the fringe of the green in two shots, but was able to salvage par. She made par on the par-3 fourth ”“ which features a tee shot over a small pond ”“ before matching Frost with a birdie on the par-3 fifth.

“I was excited. Kind of a relief,” Bouchard said of making a birdie after bogeying No. 1 and No. 2 and missing birdie on No. 3.

It looked like the challengers might run out of luck on the par-5 sixth, as both Austin and Frost hit their tee shots into the edge of a line of trees to the right of the fairway, but Bouchard missed another birdie putt, while Austin was able to salvage par.

A hole later, things almost fell completely apart for Bouchard. With a seven-stroke lead on Austin and eight shots ahead of Frost, Bouchard just had to play safe. Instead, Bouchard shanked her four-iron off the tee and hit a spectator 30 yards away. The spectator ”“ the boss of Bouchard’s father ”“ was unhurt after taking a tee shot off his shoulder, but he was more worried about where Bouchard’s shot landed ”“ in a large, shallow divot.

“My first instinct was ”˜that’s a bad lie,’” said the spectator, Bob Bazinet, who said he wasn’t even looking when the ball hit him.

Things got worse for Bouchard, who two shots later found a bunker to the left of the green, then took two more shots just to get out of the bunker. Bouchard triple-bogeyed the hole, but thanks to a bogey by Austin, was still five shots ahead with two holes to play.

“A little shooken up after that 16th hole,” said Bouchard. “Until I putted out here on 18, I was pretty shooken up.”

All three competitors played the eighth hole even, from tee shots all landing in the middle of the fairway just a few yards apart, to all three approach shots landing to the left of the pin on the green. All three made par, making the ninth a celebratory hole for Bouchard.

Bouchard made the green in two, then left her first putt two feet short, but drained the birdie putt to end her championship in style.

It was the third-straight state title for Bouchard, who won the WMSGA Amateur two years ago before the WMA tournament was created.

“It’s real exciting. I wanted it badly,” said Bouchard. “I felt like I wanted this one more than the last two.”

The win over Austin was both sweet and bittersweet for Bouchard, who helped teach the 17-year old the game as part of the MSGA’s junior program.

“Monica and I said let’s play together, at least one round. And I’m excited that it was the final round,” said Bouchard. “She played great. Obviously some struggles here and there.”

— Staff Writer Wil Kramlich can be contacted at 282-1535, ext. 323. Follow him on Twitter @WilTalkSports.

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