Jul 18, 2008 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
One has to nearly read down to the second full page of the Duramed Futures Tour money list to find Montreal, Quebec native Lisa Meldrum, lodged in 86th place.
Yet at the end of Friday’s opening round of the Alliance Bank Golf Classic, it was Meldrum ahead of the back after a flawless five-under-par 66 over the Links at Erie Village in the tournament’s morning session.
Meldrum’s early total was built upon a bogey-free round that included birdies at holes 3, 5, 10, 14 and 16 — all par-4s — and 13 pars. She also made a 30-foot putt for par on the 9th hole and another key par save at 11 to keep the scorecard clean.
Once posted, Meldrum’s score held up for the rest of the day, though three other players — Jin Young Pak, Mo Martin and Gerina Mendoza — came close, each of them finishing with four-under-par 67 totals to finish one shot behind Meldrum.
Pak, one of the many South Koreans in the field, had the best chance, going out in 31 with five birdies on the front nine before cooling off with bogeys on 10 and 12 and a recovering birdie at 16. Pak currently sits at eighth on the Futures money list, and a win could propel Pak into the top five, all of which earn an LPGA Tour card at season’s end.
Playing in back-to-back groups that started at hole no. 10, Martin (who hails from Altadena, Calif.) and Mendoza (who is from Roswell, N.M.) both had equal totals of 34 on the back nine, then 33 on the front nine. Martin began the week 24th on the Futures money list, while Mendoza is 37th.
The full brunt of heat and humidity arrived with the opening round on Friday — temperatures pushing 90 degrees, sunshine, and the occasional wind gusts that can make Erie Village a much tougher course.
In all, 16 of the 139 players shot under Erie Village’s par of 71, with 16 more at even par.
Hawaiian Leah Whiting and California native Lisa Ferrero both shot 68 in the morning, finishing at three under par. Connecticut native Lynn Valentine joined them with an afternoon 68, creating a three-way tie for fifth place.
Carling Coffing and Courtney Erdman finished at 69, sharing ninth place. Rebecka Heinmert, Chella Choi, Song Yi Choi, Kim Welch, LeAnna Wicks, Haeji Kang and Whitney Myers all finished at 70.
For a long while in the opening round, Ithaca native Lori Atsedes appeared to be on her way to the top of the leaderboard. But a balky putter led to several missed birdie opportunities, and bogeys at 17 and 18 dropped her to a 73.
East Syracuse-Minoa’s Brittany Siechen, the Section III champion granted an automatic berth in the tournament, shot 95 and missed the 18-hole cut.
Play begins again Saturday at Erie Village at 8 a.m., with the final trio of Meldrum, Pak and Martin going off the first tee at 2:30. Admission is free with a $5 fee for parking.