The 15-year-old amateur woke up at 4:15 a.m. to be at Cherry Hills in time to complete the rain-delayed first round. She shot 2-under-par 69 to finish tied with Angela Stanford and Brittany Lang and move two strokes ahead of Annika Sorenstam.
Wie had a good chance to take the lead by herself after hitting a 6-iron to 6 feet on No. 18. She just missed the putt, though, and the first round closed without one player making birdie on the difficult, 459-yard par-4. The hole played at an average of 0.741 strokes above par.
``I was shooting for consistent, under-par rounds and now I have one,'' said Wie, stopping briefly before heading back out to start her second round. ``But there's still a long way to go.''
Laura Davies, the 1987 champion, also completed her opening round Friday with much different results. She closed with a triple bogey, double bogey and bogey to shoot 84, the worst of her 66 rounds at the U.S. Open.
This marked the second straight year an amateur was leading the Women's Open after the first round -- and it wasn't just one teenager, but two.
Lang, a 19-year-old amateur from Duke, also shot 69 Thursday afternoon before storms suspended play, taking bogey on the last hole when her approach hit the grandstand.
A year ago, Brittany Lincicome opened with a 5-under 66 at Orchards Golf Club in western Massachusetts.
Two strokes behind, and well in contention to win the third leg of the Grand Slam, was Sorenstam, who overcame a nervous start to finish at par.
``I put a lot of pressure on myself,'' she said. ``I really want to do well here. When you stand on the tee, you know you have to hit the fairways. That's double pressure right there. So I am just happy I found the rhythm in the middle.''
Sorenstam had an afternoon tee time Friday.
One shot off the lead were Nicole Perrot, Liselotte Neumann, Young-A Yang and Natalie Gulbis.
At 71 with Sorenstam were Sophie Gustafson, defending champion Meg Mallon and Morgan Pressel, who had the roller-coaster round of the day.
After making five birdies over her first eight holes, Pressel closed her round with a double bogey and bogey to fall back to even par. On the way to her fractured finish, she slammed her driver to the ground, buried her head in her hands and, at the bitter end, trudged to the side of the ninth green, sat down cross-legged and pouted while her partners putted out.
When she emerged from the scorer's tent, she had been crying.
``I came here to play the best I could, and I did,'' she said. ``And then I played the worst I could.''