Despite struggling by shooting 6 over par through her last nine holes on Wednesday, Bailey Plourde of Newcastle is only one shot off the lead after two rounds of the NCAA Division III golf championships at the Bay Oaks Country Club in Houston.
Plourde, a sophomore at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, finished with a 7-over 79 for a two-day total of 150, which is 6 over par.
She was the first-round leader with a 71 and thus far is the only one in the 131-player field to shoot a round of par or better.
Plourde is one of five players tied for second, one stroke behind Nina Kouchi of Grinnell College, Ziyi Wang of Carleton College and Emily Salamy of Rhodes College.
Plourde is the reigning Maine Women’s Amateur champion and won three high school girls state championships, two outright.
In Wednesday’s round, she played the back nine first and shot was 1 over. But she bogeyed the par-4, 360-yard first hole and the par 4, 341-yard fourth hole before taking a triple-bogey at the par-5 457-yard fifth hole.
She also bogeyed the sixth hole, before rallying for three straight pars to end the round and stay just one shot behind the leaders.
There are 25 teams involved in the championships along with six individual golfers whose teams didn’t qualify. Plourde is one of those six individual golfers to earn a berth in the tournament.
Following Thursday’s third round, the top 15 teams and six individuals will move on to Friday’s final round.
Plourde was the two-time runner-up to Staci Creech in the Maine Women’s Amateur. The graduate of Lincoln Academy in Newcastle earned her second consecutive All-Southern Athletic Association first-team selection this spring and finished third in the SAA championships at the GreyStone Golf Club in Dickson, Tennessee.
She finished in the top five in all but one tournament and was a medalist three times.
The 2018 SAA Newcomer of the Year ranks in the top 10 in the country in scoring average. She entered the SAA Tournament on pace to set the school record for lowest scoring average.