U.S. Women's Open, Day 1: Paging Mike Davis...
By Torleif Sorenson on 6/28/13
(Soundtrack by Chaka Khan)

Is USGA Executive Director Mike Davis taking the week off?

It's hard to think of another explanation for why Ha-Neul Kim was able to go deep in the first round of the U.S. Women's Open Championship on Thursday at Sebonack Golf Club. Late Thursday afternoon, she did pre-championship favorite Inbee Park one better, shooting a 6-under-par 66. Not only does this fly in the face of a course setup that pretty much everyone expected to be difficult, but it was also the fourth-lowest opening round in the history of the U.S. Women's Open. In fact, 36 women finished Thursday better than par.

Speaking through an interpreter, Kim said:
"I was very nervous coming in, and I thought in the practice round that the course was very difficult. Before playing today I thought that even par would be a very good score for me.

"I had six birdies. They were all within tap-in range, so I felt like my putting wasn't really tested, but my tee-to-green, I was very good."
I.K. Kim, Lizette Salas, Anna Nordqvist each shot 4-under 68s, leaving them in far better position for the weekend than some of the bigger names and contenders.

34 for 68

World Golf Hall-of-Famer Juli Inkster has now played in exactly half of the U.S. Women's Opens ever held. Needless to say, her 34th appearance is a championship record.

And while Inkster didn't set a course record in the process, she carded an even par 72 that saw her hole out for eagle at the last.

The Favorite

  • Inbee Park also could have carded a 66, but a bogey at the par-4 6th hole spoiled that party. IBP took just 25 putts after hitting 12 of the 18 greens in regulation.

    Anybody care to bet against her?

The Contenders

  • Suzanne Pettersen: The Oslo native had a vicious, see-saw day Thursday, nailing birdies at 1, 8, and 9, but five bogeys and a double-bogey at the 5th gave her a 76, tied for 81st. Here's hoping that it's too early to say, "Toodle-Oo, Tutta."

  • Paula Creamer: The 2010 U.S. Women's Open champion hit 12 of 14 fairways and 14 of 18 GIR... but took 30 putts and found herself at level par after Round 1. The Pink Panther needs to start prowling soon.

  • Stacy Lewis: The number-two-ranked woman in the world, Lewis was paired with IBP and shot 71, five adrift of Ha-Neul Kim. Interestingly, Lewis was quoted as saying, "This is not a tournament you want to lead after the first day because it's hard to maintain that for four days."

    That flies in the face of Raymond Floyd's advice:
    "If you have a lead, get more of a lead."
  • Cristie Kerr: The 2007 champion bogeyed two of the four par-3s, but was -2 on the par-5s, leaving her at level par with a 72. As with The Pink Panther, putting was the problem; Kerr took 31 putts on a day when she hit 12 of 14 fairways and 14 of 18 GIR, which is tough, considering that she has played Sebonack many times before now.

Full leaderboard

Read an interesting golf article? Tip your editor!

Image via USWomensOpen.com

[ comments ]
no comments posted yet.
[ post comment ]
    New Products
    Caption This
    World Am
    How Bizarre!
Most Popular: