VASSALBORO, Maine — Erin Holmes of Greely High School stood over her putt on the ninth hole of the Arrowhead course at Natanis Golf Club on Saturday, thoughts of birdie dancing in her head.
She thought the putt would give her second place alone after playing partner and friend Bailey Plourde of Lincoln Academy had also drained a birdie putt.
“I thought I had to win that hole to win,” Holmes said.
Holmes made her birdie, halving the hole with Plourde. But she got even better news when they compared cards: She and Plourde tied for the win.
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“I thought I already lost it after Plourde made the putt on nine. It came as a surprise to me.”
The two embraced.
“I told her, ‘Nice job, Erin,’” Plourde said. “We have been a lot together the past few summers. I told her, ‘Nice job, you deserved it.’ She didn’t know we actually tied. We cried.”
The birdie was Holmes’ fourth of the day. She and Plourde finished with a score of 1-over-par 73 in sharing the Maine Principals’ Association girls individual state title.
Jordan Laplume of Thornton Academy in Saco, who was also in the group with Holmes and Plourde, finished second with a 77.
The two golfers had also battled for the top spot in 2015. Last year, Plourde shot a 70, four shots better than Holmes in second position.
Plourde began the day slowly, leaving shots out to the right. She opened up her first five holes at 4-over. Holmes was 3-over during that same stretch.
All four golfers in the group — Stephanie Rodrigue of Lewiston was also among them — were about even through five holes, but things turned on the par-5 15th hole — the group’s sixth hole of the match.
There, Rodrigue hit a tree limb on her second shot while laying up in front of the water hazard in front of the green. She put her third shot in the green side bunker and made bogey.
Plourde made birdie, Holmes and Laplume parred the hole.
“I was really nervous at first, like on 10,” Rodrigue said. “When I usually start off really good, I know I am going to play bad the rest of the round. I was hoping I kind of wouldn’t do good. I didn’t play my golf today. I just played a regular round.”
Rodrigue made seven on the 17th and 18th holes and finished her opening nine holes with a 44. She finished in 11th place, shooting an 87. Holmes made birdies on 16 and 17 and closed the opening nine with a 37. Plourde birdied 17 after bogeying 16, and finished the opening nine with a 39. Laplume shot an opening 42.
“I wasn’t playing well after that,” Plourde said. “Things got a lot better when I made the turn. When I went to the first hole I had a different composure for some reason. I focused more.”
Plourde birdied the third, fourth and ninth holes on her back nine. After birdieing the fourth, Holmes had back-to-back bogeys. Her birdie on the ninth hole got her back to even for her second nine.
Finishing in a tie for fourth were Lauren Schonewolf of Cape Elizabeth and Elizabeth Lacgonata of Scarborough who each shot a 78.
In Class A boys, Cole Anderson of Camden Hills High School in Rockport won his second straight Class A championship, shooting a 73 on the Tomahawk course. Lucas Roop finished second with a 74. Caleb Manuel of Mt. Ararat, Tate Porter of Greely and Anthony Burnham of Scarborough each shot a 75 to finish in a tie for third.
Anderson didn’t feel like he had a target on his back this season defending his title.
“I am friends with most of these guys, I know most of them,” Anderson said. “We are all pretty good friends, it’s a friendly environment. Sure, there’s a little added extra pressure as the defending champion, but not so much a target.”
Eric Dugas of Maine Central Institute won the Class B Championship on the Tomahawk course with a 73. Tyler Worcester of Fryeburg was four shots back in second. Chris Kauppila of Old Town finished third with a 78. There was a three way tie for fourth among Carter Peal of MCI, Ryan Collins of Cape Elizabeth and Cole Daniel of Old Town. Each shot an 80.
Logan Thompson of Mattanawcook defended the Class C Championship with the low round of the day, a 67 on the Arrrowhead Course. He shot a 68 last week during the team championships.
Mitchell Tarrio of Kents Hill was eight shots back, Ben Tuttle of Hodgdon finished third with a 79, and Percy Zentz of George Stevens and Mason Corriveau of Dirigo were a tie for fourth with an 81.
“I played similar to last week,” Thompson said. “I made a few longer putts this week which kind of helped keep my round going, but it was pretty much the same as last week.”