Thunderstorms Disrupt Rd 1


Futures TourQUEENSTOWN, Md. -- Afternoon thunderstorms disrupted play for nearly three hours in the opening round of the Hunters Oak Futures Golf Classic.
Play was suspended at 3:56 PM due to severe weather and didnt resume until 6:43 PM. Darkness prevented 63 players from finishing the first round. Play will resume tomorrow at 7 AM to complete the round.
With the long delays today, Futures Tour officials were forced to not reshuffle the second round according to score and instead flip-flopped the first round pairings allowing the second round to begin at 8 AM.
Early in the week, lovers of links-style golf were smiling at the substantial fescue ringing Hunters Oak Golf Club. And by the time the directional stakes enjoyed by amateurs were yanked for the pros to find their way from tee to green, one European had emerged as the leader of the morning round.
Only, this player didnt hail from the British Isles, known for its links golf and deep rough. Jana Peterkova of the Czech Republic fired a 3-under-par 69 on the demanding par-72, 6,306-yard course to take a tournament lead for the first time in her four-month-old professional career.
You have to learn how to play on a links course and to focus on spots where you want to hit it, said Peterkova, 23, who was delayed getting into the United States by four months this spring because of problems with her travel visa. Im kind of used to links golf courses in Europe, although this is more like Florida grass. Finally, I felt confident.
Peterkova relied on a dependable driver to find fairways and strong iron play to put herself into scoring position at the event presented by Toyota. With six birdies and three bogeys, the rookie never had more than a five-foot putt all morning. It was a welcome change from a slow start this season, in which she has missed the last seven tournament cuts and made only one. That came in her first tournament, where she finished 71st at the IOS Futures Golf Classic in El Paso, Texas in early May.
Im ready to have a good week, said the 2003 NCAA Division II golf champion who played collegiately at Florida Southern University. Im finally playing well and I didnt even feel nervous.
Three veteran pros with prior experience on the LPGA Tour, posted 1-under-par scores of 71 before the storm delay. Luciana Bemvenuti of Porto Alegre, Brazil, Kim Brozer of Red Deer, Alberta, and Lisa Hall of Stoke-on-Trent, England all finished tied at one under. Tracy Cone of Richmond, Calif., a fourth-year Futures Tour player, also posted a 71 among those players who finished after the delay and before the suspension for darkness.
I have some idea where the ball is going right now, said a winking Hall, ranked fourth on the season money list. I feel like Im playing well and even on a difficult golf course like this, I can shoot a good score.
With six top-10 finishes this year, including three seconds or ties for second, Hall played the opening round with three birdies and two bogeys. There were plenty of other chances where she failed to capitalize on some short putts.
While the Briton, who now lives in South Florida, has played the links-style courses at Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club and Royal Birkdale Golf Club, she claims she has played more wind in Florida than I ever did at home. Winds in Maryland from Fridays afternoon approaching storm made club selection tricky, she said. And no, her past play on links courses didnt give her any advantage because American links courses still typically favor a high approach shot rather than the traditional bump and run.
I dont really see the European elements in this course, but I can say its going to favor the player who hits it pretty straight, added Hall. The idea here is to avoid high numbers.
Finishing at even-par 72 were Brandi Jackson of Belton, S.C., Kimberly Adams of Fredericton, New Brunswick and Leigh Turner of Alpharetta, Ga.
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