Curtis Finishes Second In LPGA Futures Golf

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Chelsea Lynn Yasuko Curtis hits an iron off the fairway during the City of Hammond Classic (June 25-27) on the Duramed Futures Tour in Hammond, Il. (Photo Credit: Ken Matsui Images Photography)

HAMMOND, Illinois.—Chelsea Lynn Yasuko Curtis of New Seabury, Massachusetts shot a 1-under 71 on Sunday, June 27 to finish tied for second, two strokes behind leader Nannette Hill, in the City of Hammond Classic on the Duramed Futures Tour. Curtis tied Esther Choe and Jenny Shin with her best finish in her rookie season.

Shooting an opening round 69 left her tied for third but Curtis’ 71 (140) on Saturday, dropped her six shots behind leader Shin of Torrance going into the final day. Shin recorded an 8-under 64, including a tournament-record 6-under on the back nine. Her 10-under total of 134 gave her a two-stroke edge over Elisa Serramia of Barcelona, Spain.

Best friends Chelsea Lynn Yasuko Curtis (right) and Nannette Hill were all smiles after Hill captured the City of Hammond championship with a 7-under 209 and Curtis finished tied for second with her three-round total of 211. (Photo Credit: Ken Matsui Images Photography)

After teeing off on Sunday, Curtis’ round was interrupted when the weather-warning horns sounded. With the high winds, the thunderstorms blew through and after the course drained, play was resumed after a three-hour delay.

While most of the field struggled with the winds gusting up to 40 mph, Curtis hit every fairway (13 holes) and 13 greens in regulation, en route to recording three birdies. She was one of only four golfers to record a sub-par 71, including eventual winner Hill. Curtis finished with a three-day total of 211.

Curtis was critical of her own putting, “I couldn’t make a putt,” but her accuracy left her with mostly easy par chances. Her toughest birdie putt of the day came on number 17. Curtis sank a double-breaking, 20-footer, that drew applause from the gallery, and a smile from her.

Rookie Ayaka Kaneko of Tokyo by way of Honolulu tied for 48th place with a score of 21. Another rookie, Kelly Nakashima of Maui, in her first appearance on the Futures Tour, failed to make the cut.

The Futures Tour called the “Road to the LPGA” and is designated as the ladies professional golf developmental tour with the top money winners awarded LPGA membership. Some alumnae of the tour include former World No. 1 Lorena Ochoa, current World No. 1 Cristie Kerr, Mina Harigae and Grace Park.

The tour continues next week in Kentucky before swinging to the east coast for its final five events.

Look for Curtis’s blog comments about her first year on the Futures Tour on rafu.com, starting in July, “One-Up With Chelsea.”

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