MANCHESTER — Many of the competitors in Monday’s Maine Women’s Amateur golf tournament weren’t even born when Pennie Cummings won her first championship in 1964.

Cummings, who plays out of Springbrook Country Club in Leeds, went on to win five more amateur titles, the latest in 2006. Cummings shot two-over par 74 in the opening round of the 54-hole tournament at the Augusta Country Club to take a five-shot lead over Norway’s Leslie Genthner.

Cummings, 68, recorded four bogeys and two birdies, including a chip-in on the par 4 16th hole.

“I had driven it into the woods, chipped out short of the green, then chipped into the hole,” Cummings said. “I didn’t think that was going to happen.”

Genthner, a three-time runner-up in the tournament, was the only other golfer to break 80. Like many of the competitors, she had some trouble adjusting to the speedy greens.

“I made some good putts today, and had some three-putts,” she said. “The good putts and the three-putts balanced themselves out.”

Two-time champion Kristin Kannegieser of Martindale shot 82 to settle into a three-way tie for third place with Micki Meggison of Sable Oaks and Mary Brandes of the Woodlands. Kannegieser, who won in 2007 and 2010 survived triple bogeys on the fifth and eighth holes.

“I was 10 over in that stretch,” she said. “Other than that I played OK.”

Meggison shot even par on the front nine with three pars, three bogeys and three birdies, while Brandes shot 41 on each nine with a birdie and triple bogey on each side. Defending champion Emily Bouchard of Saco shot 85 and is tied for sixth place with Turner’s Prudence Hornberger.

“I was nine over on four holes,” Bouchard said. “That sums it up right there. I had six 6s, I don’t ever remember doing that. If you make mistakes, you’re going to pay and that’s what happened.”

Bouchard shot 74 in a practice round Sunday, but was unable to regain that form and didn’t record a birdie during Monday’s round.

“It was like night and day,” she said. “The greens were a lot quicker today.”

Bouchard gained some momentum with three straight pars to finish the front nine, but then had to wait 40 minutes as many of the 90 players in the split field were still teeing off on the 10th hole.

“I’m not out of it at all,” Bouchard said. “I can still put up some good scores. I just need to find it and do it.”

Cummings, who won in 2006 at age 62, has since shot her age in rounds on her home course at Springbrook. Now 68, she turned in the steadiest round of the day Monday.

“She played beautifully,” Kannegieser said. “It was fun to watch.”

Gary Hawkins — 621-5638

[email protected]

 

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