PINEHURST, N.C. – Pinehurst No. 2 proved difficult during the opening round of the U.S. Women’s Open, but Stacy Lewis barely seemed to break a sweat. Here’s how things look heading into Round 2, where Lewis will begin with a one-shot lead:
Leaderboard: Stacy Lewis (-3), Michelle Wie (-2), Katherine Kirk (-1), So Yeon Ryu (-1), Minjee Lee (a) (-1), Karrie Webb (Even), Paula Creamer (Even)
What it means: Lewis has been playing well this year, with a pair of wins and now the the No. 1 spot in the Rolex Rankings. She kept up the momentum Thursday, firing a bogey-free 67 after finding 17 of 18 greens in regulation. Lewis made birdies on two of the more difficult par-4s at Pinehurst, Nos. 8 and 16, and added a third circle after an accurate wedge approach at the 14th.
Best of the rest: Wie was a runner-up at the season’s first major and is again in contention after opening with a 68. She got her round started with a birdie on the second but made the turn at 1 over before getting back into red figures with birdies on 10, 12 and 14. She gave one back at No. 16 but finished her round with a 6-foot birdie on the home hole to get to one behind Lewis.
Biggest disappointment: Inbee Park entered as the defending champion and has six top-10 finishes in this event since 2007, but she will need to play well just to make the cut after opening with a 6-over 76. Park had a pair of birdies but also a pair of double bogeys and found only 10 of 18 greens in regulation.
Main storyline heading into Friday: With play suspended because of weather late Thursday, there still is some golf to complete, with the last groups still with three holes to go. Once the second round starts, though, all eyes will be on Lewis as she looks to stay out in front of the pack and put herself in position for a third major title.
Shot of the day: Italy’s Giulia Sergas struggled to a 77, but did author a highlight with a hole-in-one on the par-3 15th. Sergas hit a 7-iron from 164 yards that found the target.
Quote of the day: “It was such an easy day.” – Lewis