COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Stacy Lewis waited an entire day to hit her first shot at the U.S. Women’s Open. It didn’t take nearly as long for her to find the top of the leaderboard.
Seeking her second major championship of the season, Lewis made four birdies over the last nine holes of the first round Friday to take a one-shot lead into lunch.
Less than an hour later, she was back on the course for the second round – a 36-hole day on tap, as the players try to make up ground after being rained out Thursday.
The delays will turn the U.S. Open into a bigger endurance contest than it already is. But for starters, Lewis was in good form.
“It’s in the back of your mind when you’re walking up those hills at the end,” Lewis said of the long day of golf. “But everybody’s got to do it, so you’ve just got to go out and do it, too.”
Trailing Lewis by a shot were Ryann O’Toole and newly turned pro Lizette Salas, who also had afternoon tee times.
“It’s kind of nerve wracking, but it comes with the territory,” said Salas, a four-time All-American from Southern California.
Also in the three-way tie for second was amateur Amy Anderson, who came to the Broadmoor early Friday to finish her first round, but won’t start her second until Saturday morning, at the earliest.
“It’s exciting; hasn’t sunk in,” said Anderson, a second-team All-American at North Dakota State. “To me, it’s felt like another tournament, just on the tour.”
All the tour’s best are here, though Lewis, who won the Kraft Nabisco earlier this year, came in overshadowed – like everybody else – by Yani Tseng. Tseng is seeking to complete the career grand slam and is only two weeks removed from a 10-stroke victory at the LPGA Championship.
She went wire-to-wire in that one, but won’t repeat that at the 7,000-yard Broadmoor. She struggled keeping it straight – hitting only eight of 14 fairways – and finished the first round at 2-over 73.
“I kind of got used to the golf course,” Tseng said. “And then, I just kind of have to go back in the afternoon.”
Tseng was one shot behind defending champion Paula Creamer, who hit 14 greens in regulation but was often hitting her first putts from 20, 30 feet away.
“You can definitely shoot a good score,” Creamer said after her 72. “Maybe one green I missed all day, but I just had some three-putts.”
Karrie Webb was in a six-way tie for fifth at 1-under 70. Webb was among those who came to the course early to finish her round. She played three holes, made a birdie on the last one, then went home to sit through a long wait.
Cristie Kerr also had a quick day. Kerr shared the lead with Anderson overnight and faced a long bunker shot in front of the seventh green when she returned early Friday. She couldn’t save par there and also bogeyed No. 8. She finished her round at even-par 71, but walked off the course with a good outlook.
“I’m not going to stress over it,” she said. “I’m pleased I have a lot of time to work on my game with my coach. I’m going to get rested up, because it’s going to be a long weekend.”