June 24, 2018
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Leslie Guenther leads Pennie Cummings by 1 after second round at Maine Women’s Amateur golf

By Dave Barber, BDN Staff

MANCHESTER, Maine — No matter how many times a golfer plays a course, she can always discover something new.

That’s what happened to Leslie Guenther on the 12th hole at Augusta Country Club during Tuesday’s second round of the first Maine Women’s Amateur golf championship.

Fortunately for her, she overcame that three-putt and a few other mishaps to shoot a second straight 7-over-par 79 and move into the lead by a stroke with one round remaining Wednesday.

Guenther, who won the Southern Maine Women’s Golf Association title last year, sits at 158, just ahead of first-round leader Pennie Cummings of Wayne, who posted an 85 for 159.

Emily Bouchard of Saco, who won the Women’s Maine State Golf Association Championship last year, shot the day’s best round — a 77 — to move into a tie for third with Micki Meggison of Sable Oaks of South Portland at 162. Meggison shot an 80 Tuesday.

Mary Brandes of the Woodlands Club in Falmouth is alone in fifth at 167 after also shooting an 85.

Kristin Kannegieser of Martindale Country Club in Auburn and Heidi Haylock and Prudence Hornberger of Turner Highlands share sixth at 168.
Kannegeiser shot an 86, Haylock an 81 and Hornberger an 83.

Guenther, Cummings — a six-time winner of the Women’s Maine State Golf Association crown — and Meggison will play in the final group for Wednesday’s 18-hole final, teeing off at 10:20 a.m.

The Southern Maine Women’s Golf Association and the Women’s Maine State Golf Association have combined their respective championships into one tournament for the first time this year.

Guenther played in a tournament at Augusta earlier this year when the cup on the 12th hole was on the front right part of the green. Any putts from above the cup would be fast and hard to keep on the green if they missed.

Tuesday’s cup on that hole was on the left side, with more room between the cup and the front of the green..

“I didn’t think it could be anywhere near that quick,” said Guenther.

Her 20-foot bid for birdie sailed past the cup, a possibility she considered but didn’t worry about.

“I thought it would go just a few feet by and stop, but it kept on going,” she said.

“That’s one of only a few I’ve creamed,” she added.

It rolled onto the collar. She putted back up the slope and just tried to lag it close. She took her bogey and moved on.

“For every whoopsie, or pretty much every one, something good happened,” Guenther said. “… You can’t be undone by a three-putt because you know they’re going to happen.”

She parred the next hole, bogeyed 14 and 15, saved par on 16, parred 17 and bogeyed 18 when she missed a short par putt.

Whether her lead was two strokes or one, she knew it will still be a dogfight Wednesday.

“In women’s golf, things can change so quickly,” said Guenther. “That’s why it’s so important to play your own game.”

Cummings felt so badly about her round that she was surprised still to be in contention.

“I’m shocked. I thought I would be around 12th,” she said.

Cummings was unable to overcome her tough breaks.

“I had a lot of three-putt greens [Tuesday], and I got into a lot of trouble,” she said. “I got into some trouble yesterday [Monday], but it didn’t impact my score.”

She got into trouble early, making double bogey on the par-4 first hole. Cummings did make one birdie, but it was closely followed by double bogeys on 14 and 16.

Bouchard feels much better about her chances of getting a second Amateur title.

“Today was moving day and I got back in it,” she said. “This course, with these greens, it could be anybody’s game.”

Bouchard birdied the first hole, picking up three strokes on Cummings right out of the blocks.

She also posted birdies on Nos. 4 and 13.

“I tried just as hard yesterday [Monday],” said Bouchard, “but it worked out better today.”

Guenther hopes it works out a little better Wednesday.

“I hit some shots I felt good about,” she said, “but not enough [of them].”

She didn’t blame her mistakes on anything besides herself, including a 55-minute delay when lightning storms swept through the area.

“No external factors affected [her game], except maybe the pin positions,” Guenther said.

And those will be all new Wednesday.

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