OAKLAND — It wasn’t the sharpest round of golf Leslie Guenther has played, but that did nothing to dampen her spirits. After coming close to winning the Maine Women’s Amateur a couple of times, Guenther wasn’t going to take style points over victory.

“I’ve been the leader going into the third day. I’m so relieved. I’m sorry I didn’t play better today, but I’m so pleased with my effort (Tuesday),” Guenther said.

Guenther, who plays out of Norway Country Club, shot a 9-over par 82 Wednesday. That, combined with the 75 that gave her the lead after Tuesday, was enough to lift Guenther to the championship at Watervillle Country Club.

Guenther finished two strokes ahead of Mary Brandes (159), and three ahead of Bailey Plourde and Mikki Meggison, who each finished at 160.

Emily Bouchard, the two-time defending champion from Saco, shot 84 on Wednesday and finished with a two-day score of 164.

Monday’s opening round was washed out by rain. On Wednesday, there was a one hour, eight minute weather delay when a brief storm made conditions unplayable. The final group of Guenther, Brandes and Bouchard was on the ninth hole when play stopped. When play resumed, there were often delays as the final groups waited for others to finish holes.

“You sit around for an hour and you cool off, and things change a little. Right after that, it was hit a shot and wait five minutes,” Bouchard said.

“It certainly didn’t help,” Guenther said of the delay. “We had to putt on nine, and you’ve been waiting, 45 minutes, an hour, I don’t know how long it was, but all of a sudden, you’re playing competitive golf again. It doesn’t feel like a competition anymore.”

Just before the delay, Guenther, who entered the day with a three shot lead on Brandes and a five stroke edge on Bouchard, relinquished the lead to Brandes after a run of bad holes.

“I was one under through four and I felt great. I played so beautifully (Tuesday). The first four holes today I felt the same way. Then the wheels sort of came off,” Guenther said.

Guenther bogeyed the par five fifth and par three sixth, then went in the water in front of the green on seven, taking a triple bogey.

“Those two holes, six and seven, I made bad club choices. I didn’t hit enough club on six, and I don’t know what I was thinking on seven. I hit a good shot, I just didn’t hit a full shot because I didn’t think I needed to. I was so shocked when it went in (the water),” Guenther said.

Guenther reclaimed the lead after the delay, when Brandes had back-to-back double bogeys on nine and 10.

Guenther —who finished tied for eighth last year — led previous Women’s Maine Amateur tournaments entering the final day, only to be passed for the title. Her birdie on the par five third hole was key, especially after Brandes and Bouchard each bogeyed the hole.

“More than anything, I’m relieved,” Guenther said.

Bouchard looked poised to make a run after a birdie on the first hole, but bogeyed the next two, and never found a rhythm, particularly on the greens.

“I had six lip outs today. What is there to say?” Bouchard said. “It’s been a frustrating day.”

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.