Saying “the course beat me today,” Emily Bouchard of Saco still managed to grind out a 5-over-par 78 in the second round of the Women’s Maine State Golf Association Championship on Tuesday and maintain a five-shot lead at Penobscot Valley Country Club in Orono.

Bouchard, 21, playing in her first state amateur, was 12 shots higher than her opening-round 66, giving her a 36-hole total of 2-under 144 heading into today’s final round.

Karli Soracco of Turner remained five shots behind after matching Bouchard’s 78. Soracco opened with a 71 and stands at 3-over 149.

“The greens were very fast and it was a huge adjustment to make from the first round. The hole locations were much more difficult,” said Bouchard.

“I struggled with my putting, but everything was off. I was pulling and pushing my shots. I was short and long with them. But despite my problems, I was pleased that I stuck with it and grinded it out,” she said.

Bouchard registered nine birdies in the opening round. She had two birdies in the second round, both on par-5 holes, but unlike in the first round, she made a double bogey and several bogeys.

“I’m still confident, very confident in fact, with my game. Five shots isn’t as much as I would like to have for a lead with a round to go, but as poorly as I played, it’s not bad,” said Bouchard.

The type of round it was for the former Thornton Academy player was summed up on the short, par-4 17th hole.

“I drove the green with a 3-wood and then three-putted. I three-putted seven times. It wasn’t easy trying to make the adjustment on extremely fast greens,” she said.

Ann Probert of Waterville shot a second straight 75 and was in third place at 4-over 150. Pennie Cummings of Leeds, a six-time champion, was next at 11-over 157, defending champion Kristin Kannegieser of Minot was fifth at 159, and Leslie Guenther of Norway and Susan Gilpatrick-Smart of Kennebunk were tied at 160.

Bouchard, Soracco and Probert will play in the final group starting at 11 a.m.


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