Women’s Amateur champion Emily Bouchard estimated she’s only played about 15 rounds of golf this year, maybe one reason she got progressively better each day during last week’s championship at the Augusta Country Club. The 22-year-old from Saco went 85 on the first day to 1-under par 71 on the third and final day to win her second straight title.

Final-round playing partner Kristin Kannegieser of Martindale recalled the year she won the title at Bath two years ago, Bouchard wanted to enter but didn’t have the three requisite weekly tournaments under her belt.

Bouchard, who played in high school at Thornton Academy on the boys team, actually took a two-year hiatus from the game to recharge.

“If I play too much golf, I tend to fall out of love with it,” Bouchard said.

Kannegieser, who is in her 40s, won in 2007 and 2010. In between and after those titles, two youngsters stole the show. Alexa Rancourt of Portland, who won in 2008 and 2009, plays at Furman University and has since moved on to larger out-of-state tournaments. In 2009 at age 18, she won her second title, also played at Augusta, by 23 strokes. Bouchard came along in 2011 to win the first of her two titles.

“I had the pleasure of playing with Alexa in the last round and Emily (in the last round),” Kannegieser said. “Alexa had more length, but in the end, 1-under . . . (Emily) just played beautifully and she’s got such confidence in her swing. She didn’t miss the fairway.” Bouchard and her father and golf mentor John will try to defend their title in the Maine Mixed Championship at the Boothbay Country Club on Sept. 9. They’ve won it the last two years.

* * *

Martha White watched her younger sister Pennie Cummings compete in the final round of the Maine Women’s Amateur on Wednesday at the Augusta Country Club. White plays nearly every day at her home course of Hermon Meadows and competes occasionally in weekly tournaments. Because of some physical limitations she no longer competes in the Amateur, a tournament she has won 13 times, the first at age 15 in 1958.

Cummings, 68, still plays competitive golf and led the tournament with a first-round 74 before finishing third. Together, the sisters are the matriarchs of Maine golf.

“I think the world of both of them,” said Norway’s Leslie Guenther, who placed second in the tournament. “I’ve lived in Maine for 21 years and I’ve played golf with them for almost that long. They are so gracious. They set a great standard. I aspire to be like them.”

* * *

A few more notes from the Women’s Amateur:

* Six juniors, 17 and under, competed in the championship, a record number. Alice Hwang, a junior at Bangor High School shot a low three-round total of 265 to finish 18th overall. All six of the girls plan to compete in this week’s junior tournament at Val Halla.

* The par 5 fifth hole was the hardest statistically in the tournament, playing to an average score of 7.11 followed by the par 4 14th, with its two-tiered green, at 5.79. The easiest hole was the 368-yard par 5 13th, which is a par 4 for the men. There were two eagles on the hole — one by Augusta’s Natalie Graceffa and another from Webhannet’s Susan Gilpatric — which played to an average of 5.56. Winner Emily Bouchard had the third eagle in the tournament on the par 5 fourth hole in the final round.

* * *

Getting back to Sugarloaf usually proves a panacea for Mark Plummer’s game. The 13-time Maine Amateur champion finished third overall in last week’s State of Maine Championship and was low amateur. Open to Maine pros and amateurs, Plummer has won the tournament four times.

The Robert Trent Jones Jr. designed course is considered one of the state’s toughest.

“I’ve just played it enough, I’m a little more patient and play it more conservatively than most,” Plummer said. “You hit it two yards off the fairway, you lose your ball.”

First-round leader Shawn Warren fired a 68 to lead by four strokes, only to shoot an 86 in the second and final round.

“It was pretty firm,” Plummer said. “If you got your ball offline at all it bounced into the woods.”

Plummer wasn’t particularly pleased with his play at the Maine Open, played at his home course the Augusta Country club, or the Maine Amateur at Sunday River where he finished in a tie for 10th.

“The putting is hopefully coming around a little bit,” he said.

There’s plenty of golf ahead for him. He’ll attempt to defend his Maine Senior Amateur title next month at Brunswick, compete in the Senior two-man with Dave Brewster, the state two-ball with Joe Alvarez and the state match play at Natanis. He’s also hoping for an invitation to Cape Arundel next month to play with former president George W. Bush. He’s been a frequent guest of his father and played once this year at the course before attending the elder Bush’s 87th birthday party and viewing an HBO documentary on his life.

“He’s had quite a life,” Plummer said. “It’s remarkable.”

Chip shots . . . The MSGA’s B and C championship will be held Monday and Tuesday at Waterville Country Club . . . Sue Kaluzynski of North Monmouth shot her age, 94, Saturday at Springbrook . . . Pat Mertzel of West Gardiner scored his second career hole in one at Cobbossee Colony on Friday but this one was a bit unusual since it came during a night golf tournament. Playing with Henry Menard, Wally Bubier and Larry Palmer, Mertzel hit a fluorescent ball with a pitching wedge toward the 140-yard second hole then it just disappeared into the night and the hole . . . There were four holes in one at Waterville Country Club last week, including three in three days. Bob Timmons aced the 135-yard second hole Friday with a 9-iron, Jim Violette aced the same hole Sunday, playing at 140 yards, with a 9-iron. And Tobie Labun had a hole in one Sunday on the 186-yard sixth hole . . . The Maine Junior Championships will be played Wednesday and Thursday at Val Halla Golf and Recreation Center in Cumberland.

Gary Hawkins — 621-5638

[email protected]

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