Bailey Plourde reacts to a successful putt during the Maine Women's Amateur State Championship at the Penobscot Valley Golf Course in Orono on July 27, 2016. Credit: Gabor Degre

Bailey Plourde of Newcastle used steady play over the front nine of the final round to build a big lead and went on to capture the Maine Women’s Amateur golf tournament Wednesday at the Rockland Golf Club.

Plourde, the 18-year-old Lincoln Academy graduate who just completed her freshman year on the golf team at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, shot a 5-over-par 78 over the final 18 holes of the three-day, 54-hole event to win by three strokes over runner-up Jordan Laplume of Old Orchard Beach.

Plourde, who plays out of the Samoset Resort in Rockport, posted a final score of 13-over-par 232 to finish three strokes ahead of second-place Jordan Laplume of Old Orchard Beach. The 17-year-old Laplume, who held a one-stroke lead entering the final round, shot a 9-over 82 to complete her three rounds at 16-over 235.

Elizabeth Lacognata of Scarborough and the Falmouth Country Club, the 2017 Maine high school champion, was two strokes further back in third place after shooting a 6-over-par 79 during the final round for a three-day total of 18-over 237.

Veteran Kristin Kannegiesser of Minot and the Martindale Country Club in Auburn shot the best round of the tournament Thursday, an even-par 73 for a three-day total of 19-over 238 that moved her into a tie for fourth place with 13-year-old Ruby Haylock of the Turner Highlands, who maintained her consistent play with a final round of 80 to go with earlier rounds of 80 and 78.

Plourde, the runner-up to Staci Creech — who now lives in Colorado — in this event each of the past two years, posted an even-par 37 for her first nine holes of final-day play, offsetting a bogey on the par-4 third hole with a birdie on the par-4 ninth.

Laplume, a recent graduate of Thornton Academy in Saco, struggled early in her round, going 6-over on the front nine with four bogeys and a double-bogey on the par-4 fourth hole as Plourde gained a five-stroke lead at the turn.

Both players bogeyed the 10th hole, and while Plourde faded late with a bogey on 17 and a double bogey on 18, she finished with the second-best round of the day and Laplume was unable to close the gap.

Kannegiesser’s even-par round was a tale of two nines, as her front-nine 37 included three birdies and three bogeys while her back nine was much steadier, with just one birdie and one bogey leading to an even-par 36.

Kannegiesser’s final round was three strokes better than the second-best round of the tournament, Plourde’s opening-round 76.

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Ernie Clark

Ernie Clark is a veteran sportswriter who has worked with the Bangor Daily News for more than a decade. A four-time Maine Sportswriter of the Year as selected by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters...