Unknown Reynolds surprises


BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The U.S. Women’s Open always has its share of early surprises, and Thursday’s first round didn’t disappoint. Topping the charts this year is Jean Reynolds, a second-year player on the Duramed FUTURES Tour who stands all of 5-feet-2-1/2 inches and weighs 112 pounds. Reynolds fired a 2-under-par 69 on Thursday, and shared the early clubhouse lead with major winners Lorena Ochoa and Cristie Kerr.

Reynolds, who is the leading money earner on the FUTURES Tour this year, had a birdie putt on the 18th hole to take sole possession of the lead but lipped the putt out and made par to stay at 2 under.
“Coming in under the radar and leading the U.S. Open after the first round is pretty awesome,” said Reynolds, who holed out from the left greenside bunker on the par-5 12th hole for one of her four birdies. “Today was a very solid round. I hit the ball good, and my lag putting was very good. So I’m pleased.”

Reynolds’ only other U.S. Women’s Open appearance came last year at Interlachen; she shot 75-82 to miss the cut. Ironically, Inbee Park wound up winning the championship, becoming the youngest player ever to do so at age 19. Reynolds, 24, played Park in the quarterfinals of the 2002 U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship, losing to Park in 22 holes.

Another interesting note about Reynolds: She was recruited to play golf at the University of Georgia but never competed after red-shirting her freshman year. “I enjoyed college, and I joined a sorority, studied abroad [in Austria] and had a lot of other things going on besides golf. So, I mean, there are different ways to get here. You’ve just got to have the patience and the attitude to get here.”