Yim Leads Suspended Futures


Futures TourALBANY, N.Y. -- While Florida was being hammered by Hurricane Charley, the Futures Golf Tour was dealing with torrential rains in the Northeast. First-round play of The City of Albany Futures Golf Classic was delayed for two and half hours, then suspended again at 5:22 p.m., after more than two inches of rain fell in less than 24 hours.
Seventy-two players will return to Capital Hills at Albany for resumption of the first round at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday. The second round will begin at 9:30 a.m. Saturday. Players will remain in the same groups as the first round, but will play the reverse tees from their opening rounds.
'The course became quickly unplayable as soon as it started raining again today,' said Christy Barks, director of tournament operations. 'It is saturated.'
Players reporting for morning tee times today entertained themselves in a variety of ways during the delayed start. Some drank coffee, chatted and watched TV. Some played cards. Some read quietly.
Rookie Sung Ah Yim went back to her hotel and slept for another half hour, then returned for her noon tee time. Her power nap must have worked because the native of Seoul, Korea turned in the day's low completed score of 2-under-par 69 to grab the clubhouse lead on the par-71, 6,026-yard course.
'I was lucky today because the course condition was very hard,' said Yim, 20, who is ranked sixth on the Futures Tour Money List and is looking for her first Tour victory. '[Because it has been] raining a lot, the course was playing long and the greens were slow.'
Yim used 30 hard-earned putts, but finished the day with three birdies and one bogey. Starting on the back nine, she bogeyed the 17th when she missed the green and didn't save par from 5 feet. She birdied the 18th with a 4-foot birdie, the fourth hole with a birdie from 10 feet and her final hole, the ninth, from 5 feet.
Rookies Rachel Bailey of Faulconbridge, Australia and Julie Tvede of Copenhagen, Denmark, tied with matching scores of 1-under 71. Both also struggled with the course's greens, that couldn't be mowed because of the previous night's downpour and early-morning rain. Bailey hit 15 greens in regulation, but used 33 putts for her round that included an eagle-2 on the sixth hole. Bailey punched a 7-iron into the cup for eagle from 140 yards out to offset a round that included three bogeys and two birdies.
'I've gotten used to rain delays now,' said Bailey. 'I screwed up six holes in Lima [Ohio] worrying about it and I handled the delays in Beltsville (Md.) better. Now, I know how it works. You just have to handle it.'
Seven players tied at even-par 71, including Lindsey Wright, who won last year's tournament in nearby Altamont, N.Y. Wright also struggled with the pace of the greens, recording 32 putts in a round that rendered three birdies and two bogeys -- one resulting from a two-stroke penalty at the 11th hole after her local caddie caught a disallowed ride on the back of a cart.
But Wright was upbeat about her day, saying it was possible to fire approach shots into holes with receptive greens. Making putts was the tougher assignment.
'It's easy to fall into a negative attitude with rain delays,' said Wright, ranked No. 2 on the Futures Tour's Money List. 'Man, I hate them, but it's the same for everybody. It's about maturity, experience and going out there with the right attitude.'
Players will have that opportunity bright and early Saturday, with a better weather forecast on the horizon for the $70,000 event, presented by the City of Albany and I Love N.Y. Vacations.
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