Bartlett Begins Out Front

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Futures TourANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Krista Bartlett, playing in one of the last groups of the day, took the outright lead of the $60,000 Bank of Ann Arbor Futures Golf Classic with a first-round score of 3-under 69. Bartlett, who had luck on her side, jumped one shot ahead of a four-way tie which resembles the who's who of this year's Futures Golf Tour.
 
'I had many good bounces and a couple long putts that just fell into the cup,' said Bartlett, 34, of Porterville, Calif. 'I played well, but I had good fortune also.'
 
Right on her heels are Stacy Prammanasudh, Soo Young Moon, Erika Wicoff and Seol-An Jeon who are ranked in the top 15 on the Tour's money list and who have contended or won this year. They shot rounds of 70 on the 6,200-yard Lake Forest Golf Club.
 
Bartlett teed off at 2:10 PM, and started strong with a birdie on No. 2 from four feet. After a bogey on four, she followed with birdies on five, seven and eight to turn at 33 (-3).
 
'I hit the putt hard and luckily it hit the center of the cup and went in,' said Bartlett of her 20-foot putt on seven. 'I had a couple of those today.' After the front, she had one more birdie and a bogey and got it up and down four out of five times.
 
Bartlett, whose best finish this season is a tie for 18th at the season opening Lakeland event, continued, 'There is so much golf left to play. I am not changing anything. I am just going to do the same thing as I did this morning which is rearrange my car so I can fly home to California on Tuesday.'
 
Prammanasudh, of Enid, Okla., ranked second on the money list felt the course played tough due to the crosswinds on many of the holes. 'Today it was hard to judge the wind because so many of the holes played with crosswinds. I just kept throwing up grass to see if I could get a feel of how much wind there was and which way it was blowing. That makes conditions tough to score.'
 
Even with the tough winds, Prammanasudh, Moon of Keumsan, Korea and Wicoff of Hartford, Ind., ranked second, fourth and seventh respectively on the money list, hit 15 greens while Bartlett and Jeon of Seoul, Korea, hit 13. 'This course is about hitting greens and hitting them in the right area on the green,' said Wicoff, who has fond memories of Ann Arbor because of her individual collegiate win at the University of Michigan's golf tournament in 1995. 'You need to take the trouble out of play.'
 
With the leader board stacked with top players looking to secure a spot in the top five on the Futures Tour's Money List, it will take luck and staying out of trouble to be the last one standing on Sunday afternoon holding the winner's trophy.
 
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