Hurricane Earl appears to have spared the Albany area and the 1st round of the last event on the 2010 Futures Tour schedule was completed today with no delays. 17-year-old former U.S. Girls Junior champion Jenny Shin took advantage of a soft, short, hilly course to post an opening bogey-free 65 in the Price Chopper Tour Championship, giving herself a 1-shot lead on Esther Choe and a 2-shot lead on Dori Carter and Tiffany Tavee heading into moving day tomorrow. Where Choe and Carter are looking to break into the top 10 on the Futures Tour money list, Shin is trying to hold onto her #5 position or improve on it, which would give her full status on the LPGA in 2011.
On a day when 58 players shot par or better on the par-71 Capital Hills course, everyone in the top 10 on the FT money list went under par except for #8 Ryann O'Toole (71), #2 Christine Song (73), and #10 Jane Rah (74). Those scores are nothing to be ashamed of, as LPGAers fairly high on the current priority status list like Libby Smith (72), Danielle Downey (73), Cathryn Bristow (73), and Reilley Rankin (74) fared little better, but they will need to make big moves on the weekend to preserve or enhance their standing. With #9 Pornanong Phatlum only 3 shots off the lead, #7 Tiffany Joh 4 back (along with #1 Cindy LaCrosse), and #3 Gerina Mendoza, #4 Jennifer Song, #6 Angela Oh 5 back--and a host of similarly talented players in the mix, including Aussies Sarah Kemp and Stephanie Na (who both joined Dewi Claire Schreefel in shooting 69s), Swedes Sofie Andersson and Caroline Westrup, and Colombia's Carolina Llano and Mexico's Sophia Sheridan (who both joined Samantha Richdale in shooting 70s)--anything can happen over the next 36 holes. Stay tuned!