BANGOR, Maine&nbsp- The forecast was bleak for Monday morning and the start of the Women’ s Maine State Golf Association Championship at Bangor Municipal Golf Course, but it was all sunshine and clear skies for Pennie Cummings.

Literally and figuratively.

The six-time WMSGA champion played as steadily and consistently as any of the 94 golfers taking on the rain-soaked fairways and greens, thanks largely to an almost unerring putting game.

“I had a lot of two-putts and several one-putts, a couple of them were pretty long. The greens were very receptive and true,” said Cummings.

The Wayne native had just two birdies, but also just three bogeys, en route to a 36 on the front nine, a 36 on the back, and a 1-over-par 72 on the first day of the three-day tournament.

Alexa Rancourt from the Sable Oaks Golf Club in South Portland shot a 74 to take sole possession of second place and Mary Brandes out of the Woodlands Club is third at 76. Kathi O’ Grady of Sable Oaks is fourth at 78.

“Today my short game was good. I chipped and putted really well and that’ s what helped me have a good score,” Cummings said. “You certainly had to plan for it because these are very, very large greens and some of the pins were in tricky locations. You needed to flight the ball right to the pins or be left with a very long putt, so that was challenging.”

Not challenging enough to ruin Cummings’ rhythm, according to playing partner Mary Brandes of Falmouth.

“I think Pennie’ s in the lead because she handled those exceedingly long putts so well,” said Brandes. “Unbelievable. She didn’ t three-putt a green all day. She was very steady.”

Brandes is only four strokes off the lead.

“I didn’ t think I played so well, but apparently because I was playing with Pennie, that was all relative,” she said with a laugh. “I’ d never played this course before. It was wet. I still need to make some adjustments, but knowing my carry distance and hitting that to the pin as opposed to expecting the ball to roll up is what you have to do.”

Others simply either traded up from the club they’ d normally use or hit harder shots.

“Definitely, you want to go right for that green and the pins if you can. These greens are enormous,” said 13-time WMSGA champ Martha White, Cummings’ sister. “I know the course, but it’ s playing a lot longer than how it usually does. You can hit back to the pin, and you better do that because if you hit to the front of the green, you stop.”

White had one of the best back nine turnarounds of the day after shooting a 43 on the front.

“I really struggled on the front side all the way around and then came back with a 36,” she said. “I think it was the putting because I wasn’ t hitting it within 20 feet of the pin and consequently, I had some huge putts. Hit and hope was a lot of it.”

The forecasted rain and thunderstorm did finally arrive in time to drench the late morning (11 a.m. and after) flight of golfers at 2:37 p.m. and force a one-hour play stoppage.

Home course golfer Liz Coffin tied White at 79, but got there a completely different way.

“My trouble came on the back and usually that’ s my better half,” said the Bangor resident and former Ashland High School and University of Maine basketball star. “I birdied 10 and thought I was on my way, but then I ran into a bad stretch at 15.

“I hit a good drive but then put my second one in the trap and took four more shots. Then I three-putted 16 and had a double-bogey on 17.”

Playing on her home course didn’ t pay off as well as she hoped.

“The weather was great and the course, with the amount of rain we’ ve had the last two weeks, played well, but the greens are really saturated,” she explained. “I was leaving them short, even knowing how conditions were.”