Michelle Wie shouldn’t have been surprised a tough test awaited her return to the Bay Area.
She took her share of them while at Stanford.
Lake Merced Golf Club proved a difficult examination for Wie and most everyone else teeing it up Thursday in the suspended first round of the Swinging Skirts Classic in San Francisco.
Karine Icher had the most right answers for the hard questions the course was asking. Icher opened with a 6-under-par 66, good for the lead when darkness halted the round. Lydia Ko, playing on her 17th birthday, shot 68, leaving her among five players tied for second.
Wie, making her first start after winning the Lotte Championship last weekend in Hawaii, opened with a 72, good for a tie for 24th. She got off to a rough start, making double bogey after an errant opening tee shot but battled back. She ended her round with a birdie.
"It's a tough golf course," Wie said. "I'll take an even-par round. It's a good position for the first round. I just need to make some more birdies tomorrow morning."
Rolex world No. 1 Inbee Park opened with a 73.
Rolex world No. 2 Suzann Pettersen, making her return from a back injury, started promisingly with a birdie at the first hole and quickly climbed onto the leaderboard before making a triple bogey, chopping her way out of deep rough and a bunker at the 11th hole. She battled back to shoot 70.
Rolex world No. 3 Stacy Lewis shot 69.
The day started with a fog delay of more than an hour.