Gusting winds turned a scoring spree into a test of survival during the second round of the Futures Tour’s Price Chopper Tour Championship Saturday at Capital Hills at Albany.
One day after 40 players broke par and Jenny Shin of Torrance, Calif., carded a six-under-par 65, the scoring conditions changed drastically. Only a handful of players managed rounds in the 60s, but despite a 73, Shin managed to hold on to a share of the lead at four-under-par with Jody Ewart of North Yorkshire, England (70-138) and Dori Carter of Valdosta, Ga. (71-138).
“I’m surprised I’m still in the leading group. I didn’t expect to be in it,” said Shin, who is fifth on the Futures Tour money list and second in the race for rookie of the year. After today’s final round, the top five on the money list will receive their full LPGA cards for next season, while the next five will earn provisional cards.
”It was really windy,” said Shin. “My shots were pretty decent, but I was using the wrong club selection, and the ball wasn’t close enough to the pin. I had three three-putts. It just wasn’t my day. I guess I’m not a good player when it’s windy. I had a tough time getting the right club.”
Shin birdied the third, eighth and 14th holes, but bogeyed the first, fourth, ninth, 12th and 15th holes.
Ewart, who is used to playing in windy conditions in her native England, admitted that the conditions were challenging.
“I think the wind picked up on the back nine, and all the holes were into the wind,” she said. “It was tough today. The wind was a huge factor. My normal ball flight is pretty high, but playing a lot in England, I’ve got that low, punchy shot down very well. I still wasn’t that bothered too much by the wind. I played my college golf in New Mexico, and this is nothing compared to that.”
Like Shin, Ewart was surprised that she is a co-leader.
“I didn’t look at the leaderboard until the 15th hole,” she said. “I was pretty shocked when I looked at the leaderboard and saw the scores, because I thought the pins were pretty generous today.”
Ewart birdied the first, 10th, 11th and 18th holes.
Carter also didn’t plan on playing in the final group today.
“I was kind of surprised by the scores today, but the conditions were really tough. I didn’t think four-under would lead,” she said. “It was tough picking clubs today, especially with the hard greens, because the ball would take one bounce and then go over the green if you took too much club.”
Shaker High School amateur Bailey Cocca, a two-time New York State Girls Junior Amateur champion, shot a 79 and missed the two-day cut with a 156.