Adams, who just graduated from Charleston Southern University in May, fired a 5-under-par 66 to take the first-round lead of the M&T Bank Loretto Futures Golf Classic. But just as recent Pepperdine University grad Lindsey Wright won her first tournament a week ago with a dose of new confidence and newly acquired patience, Adams knows theres work still to be done.
To be in the drivers seat going into Saturday is great, but there are 36 holes to go, said Adams of Fredericton, New Brunswick. Now, I just have to manage my nerves.
Adams hit 14 greens and used 29 putts to jump into the lead. Her accuracy off the tee helped her navigate the thinking-womans par-71, 6,089-yard layout that has water on 16 holes. But instead of seeing the course as a restrictive, hazard-laden bogey trap, Adams chose instead to visualize her landing spots. That strategy gave her the best start shes had in her young professional career.
This course suits my game because the more specific targets that I pick, the better off I am, said Adams, 23, whose best finish this season has been a tie for 8th in March at the Florida Hospital Futures Golf Classic. At this course, you have to be very zoned in on your target.
South Korean Seol-An Jeons target all season has been to win. With five top-10 finishes, including one second and two thirds, the player who hates early-morning anything made the most of her 8 AM date with the practice green and 9 AM tee time. The native of Seoul fired a 67 on a course where she didnt expect to score well.
Its a difficult course because theres too much water and its playing longer than the yardage, said Jeon, who used 28 putts and hit 14 greens in her round. But the greens are very nice. Now, I just need to sleep.
There was no sleeping for top-ranked Stacy Prammanasudh of Enid, Okla., Candy Hannemann of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Futures Tour rookie Kristy McPherson of Conway, S.C., all carding 68s in the morning rounds. Prammanasudh recorded a bogey-free, three-birdie round in which she sunk three 15-foot putts.
There are some crucial driving holes and there are some holes out here where you have to put it in the right spot, said Prammanasudh, a two-time winner this season.
Hannemann, ranked 10th on the money list, used her driver eight times in the first round and hit 15 greens in what she hopes will be a winning week that will help move her into the top five. McPherson, who just graduated from the University of South Carolina and is playing in her sixth Futures Tour event, hopes to improve on her season-best tie for seventh three weeks ago in Connecticut.
This course requires patience for me because I dont like leaving the driver in the bag and I only hit it four or five times today, said the two-time collegiate All-American. I did nothing exciting and nothing terrible.
Wright, last weeks champion, and Lisa Hall of Stoke-on-Trent, England, runner-up to Wright, again went nose-to-nose and turned in respective scores of 2-under 69 in the same pairing. They were joined at 69 in the first round by Tara Bateman of Phoenix, Reilley Rankin of Hilton Head Island, S.C., Janell Howland of Beaumont, Texas and Tiffany Faucette of Ormond Beach, Fla.
Twelve players recorded scores of 1-under 70, while nine finished at even-par 71.