Defending Maine Women’s Amateur champion Staci Creech and recently crowned Maine girls’ junior champion Bailey Plourde set the bar very early in Monday’s opening round of the Maine Women’s Amateur at Penobscot Valley Country Club in Orono.

Teeing off in the first group, Creech, from Bangor Municipal, and Plourde, from Samoset, each shot a 4-under-par 69 to take the lead. Creech had five birdies and an eagle (on the par-5 13th hole) to offset three bogeys. Plourde scored six birdies and only two bogeys.

Sarah Hansen (Val Halla) followed with a 74 – three birdies and four bogeys – and Stephanie Rodrigue (Fox Ridge) shot a 75. Kristen Kannegieser (Martindale) and Lori Frost (Bangor Municipal) each had a 76.

Creech, who lives in Veazie, won by seven strokes a year ago at Biddeford-Saco Country Club. Plourde, from Newcastle and Lincoln Academy, won the junior championship by four strokes last week at Val Halla.

Creech, Plourde and Hansen are scheduled to tee off at 11 a.m. Tuesday in the final group. The tournament concludes Wednesday.

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