Maine Women's Amateur This Week
The tenth annual Maine Women’s Amateur (MWA) will be contested at Bangor Municipal Golf Course, a Geoffrey Cornish design that opened in 1964. Seventy-four players, among them past champions and talented newcomers, will compete from July 19 to 21 for the coveted title. Sponsored by the Maine State Golf Association, the tournament will be hosted by PGA professional Rob Jarvis, his team, and club members on behalf of the city of Bangor.
Reportedly built for less than half a million dollars because farmland too poor and air traffic too loud prevented its development for residential purposes, Bangor Municipal (also known as the Muni) is the only Maine course to have hosted a USGA championship, the 1978 Public Links Championship. A young Fred Couples was on hand for that tilt. The Greater Bangor Open, which enjoyed a 50-year tenure at Muni, welcomed an impressive number of players who would later compete as PGA professionals, most notably Lanny Wadkins and Keegan Bradley.
The 54-hole stroke-play competition was established in 2012 when the Women’s Maine State Golf Association, who had been crowning a state champion since 1927, coordinated with the Southern Maine Women’s Golf Association, who had named more than thirty southern Maine champions since 1976. The two associations joined forces to create a single championship for Maine’s premier women golfers. The no-cut tournament names a champion, a runner up, and four flight winners.
In addition, the 2021 MWA has the potential for an elite player to set the women’s championship course record, which has not yet been documented at Bangor Municipal.
Among this year’s contenders are five former champions: Kristin Kannegieser (2006, 2010), Leslie Guenther (2014), Bailey Plourde (2018), Jordan LaPlume (2019), and reigning champ Ruby Haylock (2020). Last year’s competition at Augusta Country Club saw Plourde and Haylock tied after three days of play. On the first hole of sudden death, Plourde found the green in regulation while Haylock left her approach shot short. Moments later, Haylock’s chip found the bottom of the cup, and Plourde was unable to drain the long putt for birdie. The two, along with Jordan LaPlume, will lead the 2021 field off the first tee on Monday morning at 8:00 a.m.
- The field is comprised of 74 players representing 32 different golf clubs from across the state.
- Biddeford-Saco has the most players in the field with 9, followed by Turner Highlands with seven and Portland with four. Bangor Municipal, the host club, also has four players in the competition.
- Clubs from ten of Maine’s 16 counties have at least one player in the field.
- Two pairs of sisters are among the competitors in the field: Ruby and Jade Haylock, as are the duo of Nancy Carlson and Sue Wootton.
- The oldest player in the field is Neila Nelke at 80, and the youngest is Alexis McCormick at 14. Eight players are in their seventies and another seven are teenagers. The average age for the field is 51.
- Twenty-three players in the field carry handicap indexes of 10 or lower. The average handicap index for the field is 15.
The field is made up of 74 players from the following golf clubs: Augusta (3), Bangor Municipal (4), Barnes Brook (1), Biddeford-Saco (9), Bridgton Highlands (1), Brunswick (1), Country View (1), Dutch Elm (2), Dunegrass (1), Falmouth (2), Goose River (1), Hermon Meadow (3), Kebo Valley (1), Martindale (3), Mingo Springs (1), Natanis (3), Nonesuch River (1), Old Marsh (2), Portland (4), Purpoodock (2), Rockland (2), Sanford (1), Sheepscot Links (1), Springbrook (3), Spring Meadows (1), Turner Highlands (7), Val Halla (3), Waterville (1), Wawenock, (2), Webhannet (2), Willowdale (2), The Woodlands (3).
The course will play as a par 71 and will measure about 5,451 yards, about 350 yards longer than the yardage from the green tees. The largest increases will be on holes 4, 14, 15, and 18, making for course management decisions and a challenging finish.
Monday, July 19 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m .
Tuesday, July 20 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m .
Wednesday, July 21 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m .