Bailey Plourde studies a green before her putt. (Photo courtesy Plourde family)
Bailey Plourde, 14, of Newcastle, with her third place troply and Junior Championship award, received at the Women’s Maine State Amateur golf championships last week. (Photo courtesy Plourde family)
By Paula Roberts
Bailey Plourde, 14, of Newcastle, tied for third at the Women’s Maine State Amateur golf championships last week with a two-day total of five over par with 160. She was the Junior Champion at the event.
The championship, held at Waterville Country Club, turned into a three-day event, after rain swept through the area July 28. Plourde shot a 79 on Monday, but because less than half of the field finished, all scores were erased and everyone started from scratch on July 29.
She shot an 82 on Tuesday and a 78 on Wednesday. She had only one bad hole in the tournament, when she hit a seven on a par 3 13th hole in round two. “If it had not been for that bad hole, I probably would have been first,” Plourde said.
As it was, Plourde finished third by three strokes behind winner Leslie Guenthner (157). Mary Brandes was second with 159, and Micki Meggison tied with Plourde with a 160.
Her best shot of the tournament ironically came on 13, when Plourde’s chip shot hit the cup and “popped out,” she said. She also hit a 30-foot putt on six. In round one on Tuesday, she hit seven holes for par, and on round two on Wednesday she hit for par on 10 holes and birdied holes 3, 5 and 10.
“Going up on 18 it downpoured bad. It was bad,” Plourde said of a rain delay. “Only on Tuesday we had good conditions, and I played bad on Tuesday.”
Plourde said she was very happy with her third place finish, having placed 14th in 2013. “I seemed more relaxed this year than last year,” she said. “I was still nervous. There was pressure. A lot of them (competitors) are going out there to have fun, obviously to compete, but with the attitude what happens, happens.”
There were only four junior golfers competing in the Maine Amateurs, Plourde, Kelsie Dessent, Lauren Schonewolf, and Erin Holmes. Plourde was one of two 14-year-olds.
Plourde first picked up a club at the tender age of five when her grandparents Tom and Barbara Wright were babysitting and decided to take her along with them to the Boothbay Country Club. “After that first day I wanted to go back. I think the next week I got my first clubs,” Plourde said.
Plourde is still recovering from a high ankle sprain received 11 weeks ago. The defending Maine Schoolgirl State B co-champion competed in June at the New England championships. “I figured I was not going to do my best because of the ankle, but I was happy with the outcome (39th),” Plourde said.
Since that tournament, she placed second in a women’s event at Fairlawn in Poland, and in early July competed in the New England Women’s Amateur where she placed 39th. She has played in the Junior circuit all summer, and will play in the Maine Junior Championships at Val Halla in Cumberland next week. The boys and girls compete separately and there are different age divisions.
She takes lessons from Samoset head pro Gary Soule.
After wrapping up the Maine Junior Tournament next week, Plourde will set her sights on her Lincoln Academy season. “I hope the team does well,” she said.
Individually, Plourde hopes to be in the running for a second consecutive state title. From there, she would like to play in college. “Everyone asks me if I want to go to the LPGA, but it is not something I want to do,” Plourde said.
“She is running out of trophy space. We will have to build another whole room,” her mom Lynne said.
Bailey is the daughter of Bob and Lynne Plourde, of Newcastle.