Kelly Robbins, a nine-time winner on the LPGA, took full advantage of those opportunities recording low score of the day with an opening round of 8-under-par 64. She currently holds sole possession of first place with a two-stroke lead over Laura Diaz and Juli Inkster. We played lift, clean and replace which I had never seen before so that was pretty interesting, said Diaz. I feel it was a really good decision. It is always nice to get the muck off the ball, and there is lots of muck out there.
Inkster, always a fun player to watch, made five birdies, one bogey and an eagle on the 465-yard, par-5 18th. Overall, I hit the ball well today. I putted really well and played the par-5s well today, so I am happy about that.
Pat Hurst, Shani Waugh, Rachel Teske, Jenny Rosales and Grace Park all finished at 5-under and tied for third.
Skies cleared long enough for the most of the field, including Robbins, to finish their rounds before play was once again suspended at 4:52 p.m. and finally called for the day at 5:42 p.m. What happened with the weather and in talking to officials this is a blessing to finish, Robbins said.
Robbins had recorded six birdies and an eagle on the 476-yard par-5 6th after hitting driver, 5-wood to within 8 feet. Obviously I played pretty good today, had a lot of good numbers which means I had some full shots in there which is always very helpful and I had my putter going, the current leader said.
Overall the greens were holding well and I was able to get the ball up and down a couple of times when I needed to.
Close to half of the field was left on the course when play was called for the day. Karrie Webb was left on No. 10 at 3-under when play was suspended along with Annika Sorenstam and her playing partner Se Ri Pak who were tied at 2-under on the 12th.
This early in the game Robbins, a native of Mt. Pleasant, Mich., cant afford to rest on her laurels. All 98 of the top-100 players competing this week are sure to give Robbins ' who hasnt won an event since her 1999 HEALTHSOUTH victory ' a run for the $180,000 in first place prize money.
Tournament host Nancy Lopez recorded an opening round of 1-over-par through the 11th. Its evident that the death of her father Domingo weighs heavy on her. The winner of 48 LPGA victories talked about attempting to win one more tournament which she would dedicate to her father Domingo much like she had with her first win at the Bent Tree Classic in 1978.
Lopez received an exemption for the 2002 U.S. Ladies Open this week. She had announced that she would play 15 events in her last full season on Tour and the U.S. Open is a nice addition to what has been referred to as her farewell tour.
Exactly half of the 144-player field will complete their first rounds Saturday beginning at 7:30 a.m. ET.