With the KLPGA's 2nd major and the Samsung World Championship both taking place this week, it's easy to overlook the California sectional qualifier for LPGA's Q-School at Mission Hills. But this is the biggest tournament of the year for everyone in the field. And it appears that Tamie Durdin is ready for it. Her opening 66 gives her a 1-shot lead on Christina Lecuyer at the end of day 1.
Let's review how my picks did at the Palmer and Dinah Shore courses:
1. Yuko Mitsuka D: 35-34 69 -3 (T6)
2. Azahara Munoz P: 35-35 70 -2 (T10)
3. Amanda Blumenherst D: 35-35 70 -2 (T10)
4. Maria Jo Uribe P: 38-36 74 +2 (T57)
5. Paola Moreno D: 38-38 76 +4 (T88)
6. Maria Hernandez P: 35-37 72 E (T35)
7. Beatriz Recari D: 38-36 74 +2 (T57)
8. Hannah Jun P: 36-35 71 -1 (T24)
9. Jennie Lee P: 36-36 72 E (T35)
10. Tamie Durdin P: 32-34 66 -6 (1st)
11. Jane Chin P: 35-33 68 -4 (T3)
12. Emma Cabrera-Bello P: 38-34 72 E (T35)
Alt 1 Kristie Smith P: 39-35 74 +2 (T57)
Alt 2 Sofie Andersson P: 37-37 74 +2 (T57)
Alt 3 Cindy LaCrosse P: 34-34 68 -4 (T3)
Whereas a lot of players have some ground to make up on the leaders, nobody shot themselves out of the tournament on day 1. It'll be interesting to see what Mitsuka and Blumenherst make of the Palmer course tomorrow, where it seems there were more low scores to be had today, at least among the highly-touted players in the field.
As for my next 15, it was great to see Esther Choe open with a 69 on the Dinah Shore course and Ayaka Kaneko with a 70 on the Palmer course, but painful to see Tiffany Joh's struggles continue (P: 75, +3, T76), disappointing to see Lisa Ferrero not play to her potential (D: 76, +4, T88), and shocking to see Caroline Larsson blow up (D: 78, +6, T111). Let's see how many of my projected top 30 make the top 70 and ties after tomorrow's round.