U.S. Women’s Open Day 1: Mirim Lee blasts off to historic start

Republic of Korea's Mirim Lee watches her drive off the first tee box during Friday's second round of the 2016 U.S. Women's Open at Cordevalle Golf Club in San Martin.

The first round of the U.S. Women’s Open went off with the top golfers charging hard out of the gates, with nine players shooting 3-under or better to open things up.
Mirim Lee shot an 8-under 64 to lead that early charge and it held as the afternoon groups did not see the same success.
She was the fifth player to score that low in a single round in U.S. Women’s Open history and the first since 1999.
Lee had 10 birdies after Lee opening with a bogie when she kicked off on the 10th hole and had one other bogie on the second.
“The course is perfect now. Greens are really fast. I just try make par,” Lee said.
She was in the final group to seriously make a run at the course.
Lee was grouped with Cristie Kerr who shot a 5-under 67 and Lizette Salas who was 2-under.
Kerr finished tied for second with Minjee Lee.
Three players finished tied at 4-under.
Brittany Lang, who was among those who shot 4-under for the day, said there was a real change on the course when the weather warmed up from the early morning.
“The sun came out and the ball really started going a lot farther at the turn,” Lang said. “I made a little adjustment with my stance and I started hitting it really solid and I’ve been putting good for a while, so made some birdies there.”
Some of the golfers talked about how the greens were a little soft and wet during the day, which opened up some scoring chances for those who could control their approaches.
“I played well tee to green. I think I hit every green today, which always helps. Didn’t really didn’t hit any bad shot and get myself into trouble,” said Anna Nordqvist, who shot 4-under. “I was trying to figure out the green speed a little bit. It seemed a little bit inconsistent and a little slower in the morning. But really happy with the day.”
Like Lang, Nordqvist said she didn’t expect those conditions to continue.
“I just got to keep doing what I’m doing. I’m sure the USGA has something in store for us,” she added.
It wasn’t until Sydnee Michaels’ 3-under at the turn did anyone threaten to go as low as the morning groups. But she tapered off, shooting 2-under.
Eun Hee Ji went back-to-back birdies on her 11th and 12th holes to threaten with 3-under through 13. Amy Yang also went back-to-back birdy for a 3-under through 11.
Even though the later groups seemed to be kept at bay by the course, Kerr said she expected things to change for the later rounds.
“I definitely expect it to change. I don’t think the USGA likes when we shoot 8-under on their golf course,” Kerr said. “You have to expect it to change, and if it doesn’t, then you’ll have opportunities to score.”
In all, 39 players were under par, but the course wasn’t giving away too much of its secrets.
The 10th played tough for everyone, with just 11 birdies for the day and had 34 bogies. Of the Top 6 placers, no one made birdie and four recorded a five on the par-4.
Some of the holes played tougher—No. 8 had just nine birdies and No. 2 had 40 bogies with 13 and 14 turning in six doubles each—but that early 10th hole was keeping players honest.
The Cordevalle crowd was consistent through the late afternoon with a steady stream of fans watching each hole.
“The crowd has been great. It’s just so grateful to be here to have that opportunity to compete in the highest rank of stage out here,” said Kelly Tan, who ended the first round tied for fourth.

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