U.S. women learn from men's slow start


RIO DE JANEIRO – The American women who arrived in Rio for this week’s Games learned the pitfalls of a slow start last week.

The U.S. team of Matt Kuchar, Rickie Fowler, Bubba Watson and Patrick Reed were a combined 5 over par on Day 1 of the men’s competition, and Kuchar needed a course-record-tying rally last Sunday (63) to claim the bronze medal.

On Wednesday at the Olympic Golf Course, the threesome of American women avoided a similarly slow start, with all three players posting under-par cards led by Lexi Thompson’s 3-under 68.

Gerina Piller was a stroke back after a 69 and Stacy Lewis rebounded from a slow start for a 1-under 70.

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“It's kind of comforting to know that one good round is kind of what you saw with the guys; one good round, and you're right back in it,” said Lewis, who was tied for 19th place, five strokes off the lead. “Watching them, it just kind of showed to stay patient and hang in there.”

Thompson took advantage of her length on Wednesday and a little advice from the U.S. men.

“Rickie and Bubba, definitely got a little insight from them, just on a few of the holes and how they are bouncing out and where not to leave yourself,” said Thompson, who is three strokes off the lead. “They gave us a few insights on a few of those holes, especially like Nos. 12 and 2.”